Published by Friesen Press
Reviewed by Melissa Brooks
About the Book
Featuring over 50 intertwined stories that take place during a single 24 hour period, The Lobby invites the reader to eavesdrop on the comings, goings and constant activity in the lobby of an upscale hotel in San Francisco.
4 out of 5 stars
Overall, I thought that The Lobby was great, and I definitely recommend it. Sherman is funny and writes great descriptions, and the story has a good flow. In The Lobby, Sherman tells the stories of some of the guests and staff, all of which overlap and connect with each other at some point in the book, by using the setting of the lobby of the Shipley Hotel.
The book does have some problems. There are some spelling and grammatical errors, some of which are so obvious it is surprising that they were missed. There are also a lot of characters. Some of them appear at the beginning of the book, but then don’t show up again for a while, which means that unless you read the book in one go or are good at remembering names, you might have to flip back to remind yourself of who a character is and what their story is. A final problem I had was that the story of Oscar and Franklin left me feeling a bit dissatisfied. The stories of the other characters felt like some sort of resolution had been reached, but with Oscar and Franklin’s story, I did not feel that way. However, these were small problems that did not keep me from really enjoying the book.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
About the Author
With an eye for detail, an ear for well-tuned dialogue and an incredible grasp of the obvious, all honed while performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and improvisational theater in San Francisco, Sherman adds just enough bawdiness to deliver a character-driven contemporary novel that will have the reader laughing and connecting with major and minor characters.
Randi lives in California's wine country, finds a reason to laugh everyday and doesn't take herself too seriously. Risk and change are two of Randi's favorite things in addition to carbohydrates, sugar and a great cocktail.
MORE REVIEWS FROM OUR STAFF:
4 out of 5 stars - Ally Barber
In this award-winning book, Randi M. Sherman weaves an elaborate and highly entertaining world. In The Lobby, the audience acts as a fly on the wall to the goings-on of the extravagant and beautiful Shipley Hotel. The collection of humorous stories is organized by the hour of the day and takes place during a single twenty-four hours, allowing the reader to experience a multitude of small stories that are part of the characters’ lives.
Randi Sherman’s The Lobby is a delightful collection of intertwining stories. It provides an interesting, small look into many people’s lives and how they converge in one place, the lobby of a beautiful hotel. The idea of the collection is very original and the organization of the stories by the hour keeps the reader captivated and interested. The stories are interwoven seamlessly and the collection moves quickly, providing very different and unique characters and stories with each installment.
Although The Lobby is a very interesting and enjoyable collection, there are indeed some moments that I take issue with. The characters in the book are all quite unique from one another, at times playing into stereotypes and out of them. At points, some the characters seem to be caricatures of themselves in ways that are a bit tone deaf and problematic. Also, while there are moments of very lovely and evocative prose, there are also bits of jarring prose and silly typographical and grammatical mistakes. Overall, The Lobby is an entertaining humor collection that many would enjoy.
4 out of 5 stars - Amy Owings
This collection of stories was as rich and lively as the interior of The Shipley hotel. Human interactions have always fascinated me, and so I loved taking a peek into the lives of each of the characters as they roamed the lobby of the hotel. The characters were all built with such strong personalities, and it was quite entertaining to see how these personalities sometimes clashed. The characters and stories were intertwined masterfully; however, I did wish for follow-up stories or better conclusions for some of the characters, like Lloyd and Bernice. In addition, the writing felt a bit clunky at times, which sometimes took away from the quality of the stories. Overall, though, the concept and characterization of this book was excellent. In an ending note, did anyone else notice the allusion to Little Women with the siblings Joe, Meg, Amy and Beth March? That made me laugh.
4 stars - Rachel Weeks
From the very first pages of the book, Randi Sherman brings The Shipley Hotel alive, setting the reader up for a delicious dive into the intertwining lives of several San Francisco tourists and locals. Sherman’s characters are vivid, often-comical prototypes like the obnoxious tourist, suave businessman, and the lady who lunches. I found myself thinking about the characters even after I had finished the book, which I think is the telltale sign of an interesting read. However, while Sherman’s language is beautifully rich and the plotline is interesting, there were several distracting typographical errors.
4 out of 5 stars - Anna Sweet
This intricately woven novel offers a captivating glimpse at the lives of strangers who happen to be staying in the same hotel. Randi M. Sherman has created a detailed story that causes the reader to form quick attachments to the many characters and immediately become invested in their individual trajectories. I really enjoyed how the characters’ story lines overlapped with each other. This style of writing can be tricky to pull off but Sherman managed to interweave them seamlessly.
My favorite thing about this story was how it made me think about how many people I interact with every day without ever realizing that they are all living their own unique lives with struggles that may or may not relate to my own. This book is a lighthearted reminder that the world does not revolve around you and if you look around you may realize you have a lot in common with more people than you think. Really the only thing that took away from the quality of the story was the multiple obvious spelling and grammar errors that somehow slipped through and ended up in the finished product. However, they are only semi distracting and as a whole, The Lobby is a delightful read.
MY REVIEW - Hannah Masters
5 out of 5 rating (1=awful and 5=perfect)
The Lobby is a delightful journey through the lives of fascinating characters all centered around the lobby of the Shipley Hotel. Each hourly short story is an absorbing tale taking a humorous peek into the daily lives of the hotel goers. Though each story was brief, every character was relatable and complex. The rich and sometimes surprising personalities of the characters really kept the stories going and the pace was perfectly timed. Each story left me wanting more and I felt so invested in each of their lives and dilemmas. The Lobby is filled with wit, sarcasm, satire, and moments that made me just laugh out loud. Randi Sherman is an extremely talented writer, whom I would recommend to any reader.