The magic and mystery of cinema in its early days are brilliantly evoked in The Electric Hotel, an absorbing, multilayered novel by Dominic Smith... Exhilarating in its evocation of the creativity of early cinema, and melancholy in its acknowledgment of the passing of time and the dying of dreams, The Electric Hotel is an impressive work.
The Electric Hotel is a love letter to the early days of cinema. It starts with an old man, Claude Ballard, who has lived for half a century in a Hollywood hotel inhabited by forgotten silent film stars in an era of talkies...Claude, we discover, was one of the first film-makers, travelling the world with the Lumière brothers’ invention and terrifying audiences with pictures of moving trains.... However, Claude is brought low by his masterpiece, The Electric Hotel, which bankrupts him and ruins her career. Dominic Smith writes with passion and detail about an extraordinary period in cultural history.