Hotel Living: A Novel (Paperback)
Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Debut Fiction!
Finalist for the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction!
Recalling both the excess of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the drifting narrator of A Single Man, Ioannis Pappos’s debut novel is a portrait of privilege, aspiration, and international finance during the wayward course of the American economy between 9/11 and the 2008 Financial collapse, and is filled with surprisingly tender observations about identity, loneliness, and human connection.
“I’m homeless, but in First Class.”
Stathis Rakis abandoned his small Greek village for a more worldly life, first in San Francisco, where the Dot Com Bubble had already burst, and then in Paris, France, where he is pursuing an MBA at an elite business school. After falling helplessly in love with a liberal New England journalist with a good conscience, who comes to campus with some scores to settle, Stathis moves to the United States to begin as a consultant for a company called Command. He spends the very few hours of the day that aren’t consumed by work draining the minibar, battling insomnia, and binging on more than room service. Luxury is a given, happiness is not.
As the economy recovers and a new bubble expands in a post-9/11 world, Stathis drifts upward, baring witness to the criminal decadence that will become the 2008 financial crisis, as well as his new habits of indulgence—drugs, sex, and insider trading. In a world of insiders--from corporate suits to Hollywood celebutantes—Stathis remains the outsider: too foreign to be one of them, too cynical to turn back.
About the Author
Ioannis Pappos is a management consultant and writer from Pelio, Greece. A graduate of Stanford and the INSEAD Business School, he lives in New York City. Hotel Living is his first novel.
“Ioannis Pappos’s Hotel Living could be The Great Gatsby, reincarnated in a contemporary hell beyond even F. Scott Fitzgerald’s imagination. It’s harrowing. It’s smart and sexy; it’s funny and tragic. It is, in short, a great and terrible beauty of a book.”
— Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Snow Queen and The Hours
“If Trollope were alive today, and he wanted to write The Way We Live Now about New York’s élite consultants, he would have written Hotel Living. Really a terrific book.”
— Edmund White
“Thrilling storytelling with universal appeal.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“At once a cool-eyed satire and an unexpectedly heartfelt meditation on the meaning of home.”
— Condé Nast Traveler
“Pappos is a first-rate storyteller and keen observer of our current moment. The prose here shimmers and the narration drives hard like the hard living lives in these pages. It’s a smart book that also happens to be entertaining…. I can’t wait for his next book.”
— Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author of Jarhead
“Sex, drugs and insider trading abound in Ioannis Pappos’ tale of one immigrant’s rise in the world of corporate finance. The lifestyles described tow the line between fascinating and sickening, allowing you to determine how harshly the characters deserve to be judged.”
— Paste Magazine
“Welcome to the glitzy, high-octane world of . . . management consulting…. Plenty of storytelling verve to keep readers engaged.”
“Pappos delivers a fast-moving narrative set in the new model world of the international business culture, junior division…. The sexual and social mores of a wired world…are well and truly captured through sharp conversations and vivid vignettes.”
— Anthony Haden-Guest, author ofThe Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and The Culture of the Night
“Like a cross between The Wolf of Wall Street and Edith Wharton, Ioannis Pappos gets all the details right in this insider’s look at love and money in New York City in the post-millennial age. Pappos is such a good writer.”
— Ira Sachs, writer and director of The Delta, Keep The Lights On, and Love Is Strange
“Ioannis Pappos may be the F. Scott Fitzgerald of the wired postmillennial age. Hotel Living is an unforgettable debut…about love, sex, class, greed, and the search for one’s humanity against the blinding light of the American Dream.”
— Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth
“You can’t for the life of you put the book down.”
— Jason Diamond, Vol. 1 Brooklyn
“One of the most exciting coming-of-age books I have read since Bright Lights, Big City.”
— Melissa McConnell, author of Evidence of Love
“As he romps through the highs and lows of the global economy, Ioannis Pappos will make you laugh even as he lays bare the very real human costs of our recent—and current—economic troubles. Hilarious and heartbreaking, Hotel Living captures perfectly our own interesting times.”
— Scott Lasser, author of All I Could Get
“We’ve read and watched depictions of the reckless excess of our recent gilded age, but rarely do we get a glimpse into the inner life of one of its players. Hotel Living is The Wolf of Wall Street with a heart.”
— Mike Albo, author of The Junket
“Pappos keeps the story moving at a great pace that nails the feeling of confusion when one chases a love that is often unrequited.”
— Lambda Literary Review
“Hotel Living is nothing short of a masterpiece. It moved me and will continue to do so in more ways than I could imagine possible for a story told with such disarming clarity.”
— Pappas Post
“This quick read rivals The Wolf of Wall Street in its provocative tale of excess—luxe hotels, insider trading, physical altercations and casual sex abound.”
— Frontier, “10 Beach Reads”