The Night Porter by Mark Barry @GreenWizard62 #Bookreview

The Night PorterThe Night Porter by Mark Barry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Night Porter is a modern contemporary piece of art. November, England and the prestigious Arkwright Book Awards are just around the corner. A golden award for Best Writer is the ultimate prize along with it’s cash reward, and receiving an “Alf” is the book equivalent of the Grammys.

Organisers of the ceremony have taken over all the local hotels and this story is based around 4 authors they have booked into The Saladin Inn. During their stay nothing is too much, their every whim must be catered for and everything is paid for by the Arkwright group.

Amy is a best selling romance novelist, Frank a thriller writer, Jo a YA/NA fiction writer and Julian the outsider, a self-published e-book writer of contemporary fiction. Each with their own characteristics, it’s Julian who causes trouble. He is argumentative and rants about the other authors. Amy says he has a chip on his shoulder because he hasn’t been through and survived the ritual of selection that traditionally “published” authors have gone through.

The story is told by The Night Porter of the Saladin, the one who listens late at night to those wanting to talk, he tends to their late night needs and is professional to the end. He’s there when a shocking event occurs and he’s there at the final awards as a guest.

There are plenty of twists and turns and the musings of the Night Porter in detailed foot notes to the text make an extra layer to the book. (footnotes are only in the paperback version)

For my own personal reading experience the footnotes were a distraction and slowed down my read, but I can see them being entertaining, you almost need to read the book twice, once without the footnotes and then with, to get the most from the book. They are a clever style which puts Mark Barry “out there” as an artistic writer.

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Vanessa reviews The Night Porter by Mark Barry

Today we have a review from team member Vanessa, she blogs at


Vanessa chose to read and review The Night Porter by Mark Barry


My Review…
What a different kind of book this was! Based on a “Night Porter” whose perspective on life is about to change radically by the arrival of four authors nominated for prestigious writing awards.
Amy – bestselling author of romantic fiction.
Frank – author of highly acclaimed thrillers.
Jo – young exciting writer of YA.
And last, but not least, Frank – self-published (practically unknown) writer of contemporary fiction.
I have to admit that at first I found this difficult to get into. I personally don’t drink (rarely ever) or smoke and the constant mention of alcohol and smoking put me off. This is a personal dislike of course. It did help to set the tone for these characters and I think this was why I did not like them much at first. BUT, as you read on you start to understand that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes.
This is not just about an award ceremony! Truthfully, I had no idea what was coming and I will give no spoilers.
These are the thing you have to bear in mind…
Who is paying for Frank to stay at the hotel? Apparently, everyone hates him and what he represents.
Why does Amy come across so broken? She is a huge author about to perhaps win a major award after all.
Is Jo as nice as she seems?
Are Frank and Amy having an affair in the dark of the night?
So many questions. Read it for the answers.
I did NOT see the ending coming and because of this I loved it, even though at first it was not for me. I have to say that the turning point was the major bust-up in the bar – what a fantastic description! I was glued to the book after that.
I have to admit that having attended the IOW Literary Festival last year and given a talk as a self-published local author, I know the feeling of not stacking up against the big boys! Ha ha…
I read it in paperback and the use of footnotes threw me off a lot at first, but once I got used to them it was okay.
*I received this book via Rosie’s Book Review Team for an honest review*
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