on Sep. 1, 2011 :
For a weekly writing exercise cranked out through a blog, Hotel Flamingo is a terrific work. Comprising twenty-two short-short vignettes about a host of loners, losers, monsters and quite a few janitorial workers whose strange paths intersect at the eponymous hotel, this is a creepy and imaginative piece of weird urban fantasy.
Tracing a hurried, almost desperate path from one haunted, ruined or just plain odd character to the next, these interconnected anecdotes recall the oppressive weirdness of Johnathon Tweet’s Over The Edge roleplaying game or Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking surrealist run on the Doom Patrol comic. The Hotel Flamingo would not be remotely out of place in either work, which I hope comes across as the high praise intended.
Author Patrick O’Duffy has a breezy, assured narrative voice that’s as effective describing a character’s crushing loneliness, his deranged inspirations and her existential befuddlement as it is at suggesting the horrific alien architecture lurking just behind the curtains (most of the time) in the story. That he has also constructed an intricate and complex tale from just a few slivers of detail is remarkable. If I have one complaint, it’s that this collection is too easy to consume in a single serving, and I have an appetite for more. I don’t imagine that O’Duffy intends to revisit this setting, but I would happily accept another fat slice of Flamingo.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Jan. 22, 2011 :
I kind of got a 'Tobsha Learner without the sex' vibe about this one. I like short stories which all interlock and then go slightly astray.... An enjoyable, although extremely fantastic series of stories which are never the same.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Jan. 19, 2011 :
Welcome to the Hotel Flamingo is like the best bits of 22 longer books brought together: fast, funny, weird, and brilliantly written.
O'Duffy has a unique style reminiscent of the best in modern urban fantasy; if you like China Mieville, or Gaiman's more adult stuff, this is probably your cup of tea, but you'll still find it new and exciting. O'Duffy also doesn't hold your hand, but lets you make the connections between the stories yourself; they build a fascinating bigger picture, but I suspect that picture will be a bit different for every reader.
A brilliant achievement. I want more from this guy!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Dec. 31, 2010 :
A collection of short stories from different prespectives tells a much bigger tale of a very strange hotel.
Great characters, fantastic writing, and an engrossing read.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on Dec. 30, 2010 :
Excellent book. Loved how Patrick O'Duffy could hold my interest and then put it all together. This book is an example of the talent of a very gifted author.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
on Dec. 30, 2010 :
Excellent read! Patrick O'Duffy's story is a prefect fit for the novella format: all guts; no filler. Every chapter is a character-study of a unique and surprising person (to put it mildly), each connected to other characters, and all tied-together to form an extremely satisfying story-arc.
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
on Dec. 22, 2010 :
Patrick O'Duffy has a real grasp of short-story form. Each of the 22 tales in this volume stand alone, but also tie together to form the overarching narrative of a place with as much possibility in it as a TARDIS. The stories are short enough to be read on a commute, and the book is substantial enough to stand on its own as a novel. This is some real talent and imagination going on here.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Dec. 18, 2010 :
Hotel Flamingo is like 22 Clive Barker books all trapped in the same building together, and I mean that in the best possible way. Each bite-sized chapter tells the story of one of the hotel's guests or staff and each one of them is satisfyingly weird on its own -- sometimes creepy-weird, sometimes funny-weird, sometimes just-plain-weird -- but taken together they're much more. Like interlocking puzzle pieces they click together as you read them, until you find yourself holding something entirely unexpected.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)