James Purdon at Literary Review:
‘Not all hotels are created equal,’ observes McBride’s narrator; yet ‘once distilled all hotel rooms are essentially alike, if not exactly the same’. She should know: Strange Hotel records an exhausting fictional itinerary of nights spent in, by my count, more than 170 cities, from Dublin to Delhi and further afield. For the most part, these stopovers appear in the simple form of lists, an occasional cryptic ‘x’ denoting, we eventually infer, those occasions when the narrator chooses to forgo her solitude, if not her loneliness, in favour of a casual sexual hook-up. Five rooms, though, come into sharper focus in the novel’s main narrative sections, set in Avignon, Prague, Oslo, Auckland and Austin. Or, more precisely, set in the small and temporarily hospitable space of a hotel room in each city, ‘a place built for people living in a time out of time’.