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The Paragon Hotel

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  971 ratings  ·  314 reviews
The new and exciting historial thriller by Lyndsay Faye, author of Edgar-nominated Jane Steele and Gods of Gotham, which follows Alice “Nobody” from Prohibition-era Harlem to Portland’s the Paragon Hotel.

The year is 1921, and “Nobody” Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone hor
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  971 ratings  ·  314 reviews

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Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Superbly written historical novel exploring racism, violence, and extremist groups in America in the 1920's. While this novel takes place in the past, its subject matter resonates in the current moment.

Alice James has a knack for blending in. She can become part of the background, enabling her to go unnoticed and listen in on very important conversations. She also can stand out, if need be. She can be anyone or no one. Her nickname, Nobody, suits her perfectly. In the early 1900’s in Harlem, she
Navidad Thélamour
Simply exquisite! Seriously -- go out and get this book! :)


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Martie Nees Record
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
My Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Putmam
Pub. Date: January 8, 2019

In a nutshell, this novel is about racism and the American underworld in the early twentieth century. The novel begins in 1921, during the time of America’s Prohibition. A young white female protagonist is on a train out of Harlem running to escape her Mafia boss who is displeased with her. She is suffering from an untreated bullet wound. A black male Pullman porter takes pity
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The Paragon Hotel is a fictionalized account of the one hotel in Portland that allowed customers of color through the 1930s, and the surrounding racism of the times.

(I grew up in Oregon with 4th and 8th grade focused on Oregon history but we never learned about this, however it explains a lot... Even today Portland is 72% white!)

I enjoyed the part of the novel set in Portland, but the parallel story set in Harlem seemed less realistic and maybe unnecessary, somewhat clogging the storyline. This
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who is Alice James? Why does she reference herself as "Nobody"? What are the circumstances that led to her being on a train bound for Oregon?
So begins the tale of Alice James, aka "Nobody", fleeing NYC with a bullet wound festering, on the run from the Mafia. It's 1921, Prohibition has been initiated, Mob violence in Little Italy is rampant and Oregon seems to be a safe distance from those who wish Alice dead.
Befriended on the train by Max Burton, the Pullman porter in charge of her cabin, Alic
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auth-f, mystery, 2019-read
It's the 1920s, and Alice James, or Nobody, is escaping to Portland when we first meet her, suffering from a bullet wound. She's taken by a porter to the Paragon Hotel, the only hotel in the town that allows African Americans to frequent. She meets a variety of fascinating people who live and work at the hotel. They view her with some suspicion, as she's white and a stranger, and the situation in Portland is somewhat tense, what with the Ku Klux Klan arriving there to cause trouble. With the dis ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Set in 1921, Alice "Nobody" James arrives in Portland after a harrowing train ride. Not only has she fled New York, but she's also been shot and now needs a place to hide. Thanks to Max, a black Pullman porter, she finds refuge at the Paragon Hotel. The only problem? This is the only all-black hotel in the city and they are not very keen to have a white woman staying there. But with Max as well as the wonderful club singer, Blossom Fontaine, on her side, Alice stays in the hotel. However, she qu ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF. Everyone else seems to love this book, so I don't know, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. But I gave up--the writing style was a bit overdone for me, the dialogue didn't feel real, and I just couldn't work up any interest in the main character or what happened to her.

*I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alice James was born in Harlem and eventually runs for her life. Taken off the train in Oregon, the conductor brings her, injured by a bullet, to Portland's Paragon Hotel. Once there her story gets complicated and surprising. We learn why she was shot and why she ran.

It is the 1920's and Prohibition is in full swing; racism is prevalent in Portland. Alice is welcomed to the Paragon Hotel to recuperate, even though she is white and the other guests black. She becomes close to Blossom Fontaine, a
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

"The year is 1921, and "Nobody" Alice James is on a cross-country train, carrying a bullet wound and fleeing for her life following an illicit drug and liquor deal gone horribly wrong."

And boy-oh-boy, the complicated story goes on from there. Really great book, good writing, fantastic characters. Must read.

Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Sometimes we read stories to escape the gruesome reality that is perpetually mediatized and sometimes we visit these stories to remind us of the lessons learned—or not—during the darker days of the past. While the events in themselves are tragic, it is the similarities that we are able to draw between an era that seems so long ago that is the most appalling. Whether it is only a decade or a century ago, mankind loves to revisit those mistakes an
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a story this is. It's a gangster/mafia story. It's a story about racism, including the KKK. It's a story about intolerance and bias. It's a story about friendship and relationships. It's a love story. It's a sad story, but yet a hopeful one. It's a story about resilience in the face of adversity. It choked me up more than once but had me amused or smiling at times also, thankfully, or I would have been an emotional mess as I finished reading.

The tale begins in 1921, during the time of Prohi
The Lit Bitch
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I said when I saw this book was—-finally a cool interesting book set in Portland!

Living in Oregon, there isn’t an abundance of cool books set here. Sure we have a number of writers from Oregon that have made it into the ‘big time’, but for the most part Oregon isn’t exactly the hippest place to set your novel in.

In recent years though I have seen a lot of writers—both from Oregon or the PacNW and not—set their books here in my lovely state but it’s still not as popular as say New
Sue Em
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well-written and immaculately researched historical novel/mystery. Little known facts detailing the pervasive mafia influence in Harlem alternate with the entrenched racism from Oregon's early days. Despite the serious themes underlying the book, it is just a delight to read.

With a bullet wound in her side, Alice James, "Nobody," flees NYC traveling by railroad to Portland. Once there, the Pullman porter, Max, takes her in hand to the Paragon Hotel and to a doctor who won't ask any inconvenient
Sarah Swann
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This one was different. I love historical fiction, so I was excited for this book. I did love the characters and their dynamics together. I can usually follow duel timelines pretty well, but these timelines seemed almost too close together and it was harder for me to keep them straight. I also had a bit of a hard time getting used to the language used and they way the characters talked. The storyline was strong, but I was expecting a bit more from it.
Elinor Gray
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lovely, compelling story about troubled people just trying to connect with one another. Beautiful language, interesting characters, and a double-edged mystery that kept me up reading just one more chapter.
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
I've been a fan of Faye since Jane Steele and she come back to us again with another stunner in The Paragon Hotel. I'm not much on historical fiction usually but I've ben surprised lately.. however, I already knew going in that Faye has a talent of bringing history to life. She brings Nobody and everybody into The Paragon Hotel.

We switch back and forth from NYC Harlem and how Nobody, "just call me Alice", came to Oregon, The Paragon Hotel and her reasonings behind what she does. Introducing char
Elaine -
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I just couldn't like this book. I really tried. I made it about halfway through and then questioned why I was still reading. The Paragon Hotel has a high rating on Goodreads, so I kept thinking I was missing something or that the book had to get better.

The narrators voice just wasn't working for me. I understand that she is a con artist and changes into who she needs to be to suit the situation, but I found her voice hard to read. I typically love historical fiction, but this book wasn't for me
Charles Finch
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a charmer. Review tk
The year is 1921 and a young, white Alice James is running from her ties in NYC and from the mafia. Aboard a train bound for Oregon, she befriends a black Pullman porter named Max who finds her story, life and run-ins intriguing. Once in Portland, he takes her to The Paragon Hotel, an all-black residence in the city. Alice soon realizes that the crime on the west coast is just as troubling when she discovers the city is a new stomping ground for the Klu Klux Klan. Slick dialog, a blossoming inte ...more
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
Read the description above,if that doesn't tempt you to want to devour this book,nothing I say will. It had all the the bells and whistles for me. Well written, characters that remain with you long after the book is closed, great storytelling. Would highly recommend.
Beth Cato
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through Netgalley.

With Paragon Hotel, Lyndsay Faye reaffirms that she’s one of the best authors out there of historical fiction. Not only does she illuminate historical eras with stunning realistic detail (see her Timothy Wilde trilogy set in 1840s New York), but she creates utterly human characters you can’t help but love and hate. The way she utilizes period patter with such flow leaves me in awe as an author.

In Paragon Hotel, we meet Nobody as she’s dying of a gunshot wou
Lyndsay Faye always manages to find unique stories to tell. Well, I say find, but what she really does is create unique stories built around diligent research she does on the hidden facts of people and places in the history. From Jack the Ripper to the early days of the New York City Police Department, this author discloses the unvarnished truth of struggle and survival in the trenches. And, she does so through characters who take our breath away with their perseverance and bravery. There must a ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lyndsay Faye is an author whose books I'll pick up whenever I see a new one. I really enjoyed her nineteenth century New York copper mysteries, and Jane Steele was a fun romp. This book is a bit more in the vein of Jane Steele, with a witty young female protagonist who is more concerned with justice than the law.

The book is set in the Jazz Age, and goes back and forth between Alice "Nobody" James healing up from a bullet wound in Portland, OR in a hotel for colored people in a state where color
Tom Swift
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. A young woman's boards a train from New York in 1915 with a fresh bullet wound and $50,000 in cash. She is on the run, anywhere far away. She ends up in Portland and The Paragon hotel. I wanted to like this a little more, I was hoping for another gear to kick in, but it didn't for me. Good story though
Brandi Johnson
This book has everything. Mobsters, bootleggers, racism, KKK, prohibition, jazz, conspiracy, mystery, and more than one kind of beautiful love story. It also has some of the richest characters and world building I’ve read in some time. Get your hands on this wildly exciting historical fiction novel. You won’t regret it.

Popsugar Challenge (2019): A book published in 2019
I loved all these characters! Alice on the run finds a friend in Pullman porter Max, who sees she’s in more trouble than she is letting on. He brings her to the black hotel The Paragon, where we meet a rousing cast of characters, including Blossom who is a very interesting character. Alice is a white woman at a black hotel in the 1920’s so you are kind of on edge waiting for something bad to happen. But with these two tough women whoever messes with them better look out!

This book is about friend
Jee Hooked On Bookz
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Historical thriller set in 1921, during the Prohibition era. This novel is seeped in secrets, shrouded in mystery, with twists and turns in corners you least expect. Stay for that, and sit in for the jazzy tunes in the time of Billie Holiday, played and sung in sultry smoke-filled speakeasies. Loved this! Full review on my blog.

Thank you #Netgalley and #PutnamBooks for a free eARC of #TheParagonHotel in exchange for an honest review!
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
3,75 stars

Lyndsay Faye is such a skillful and brilliant writer, the way she almost "paints" her stories is mesmerising. She also did a wonderful job at making the setting of her novel as realistic as possible, it's such a high-quality historical fiction and I loved it. Unfortunately, at around halfway point I started to have trouble keeping up my interest in the story and I'm still not sure why. Maybe it was because of how tired I was at the time of reading it or maybe the book was getting too l
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