“THE LAST MINUTERS,” BY OLIN WISH
PUBLISHER: GRAY SKY PUBLISHING; MARCH 15, 2016
So you’ve decided that you want to commit suicide, but now what? Olin Wish’s novel, “The Last Minuters” is the story of a recent divorced Margaret and her visit to the famous Precipice Hotel. Not your typical hotel, it is infamous for being extremely expensive, luxurious and indiscreet. It is also where many go to commit suicide, jumping off of their balconies into an enormous gorge.
Upon Margaret’s arrival, she meets an infomercial star, Shannon Japan, whom she has swooned over for years, and they very quickly become intimate. There are other unusual guests, but no one really talks about why they are there because it’s basically understood and there are strict privacy rules. The rooms are designed and decorated just for you based on a questionnaire prior to your visit, and the service and food are impeccable. Wish’s novel takes us through the life and death of various characters that for various reasons have chosen to end their lives but weaves the tale through stories of the hotel, monsters and green flames in the fireplace that has been lit since the hotel opened in the 1900’s. We learn about some of the characters’ pasts and troubles that have brought them to The Precipice Hotel, in addition to gaining some insight and history about some of the hotel’s employees. Throughout the novel, there is a strange mix of romance, passion, sadness and the unexplained.
Now… What to say about “The Last Minuters?” First of all, this is an odd novel. I applaud the author for his quirky, unusual story idea, especially the setting. The hotel is intricately described and Wish’s writing easily transports you to being at The Precipice Hotel, taking in all the sights and sounds. I also feel that for such a short novel, the author developed Margaret rather well. You cannot help but empathize with Margaret as you read about her life and events prior to her visiting the hotel. Other than Margaret, however, I was left with a lot of questions about the other characters. Wish provides background information about what they had done in their life professionally but leaves you feeling like you missed some things about them overall. There were things I loved about this and things that I truly didn’t understand why they were included, such as the monsters in the gorge, but it was overall an interesting read. If you like quirky stories that are a mix of fantasy, horror, and a little romance then this should be next on your list of books to read. Although this wasn’t really my kind of book, I was very impressed with the author’s writing, use of language, and dialogue. And again, definite points for creativity and for imagining a strange, magical place.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.