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The Grand Babylon Hotel

The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett
By: (1867-1931)

Theodore Racksole, a rich American multi-millionaire, buys the Grand Babylon Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London, as a whim – and then finds out there are strange things going on – a German prince is supposed to arrive but never turns up, someone is found murdered in the hotel, but then the body disappears. With the help of his independent daughter Nella and another German prince, Racksole sets out to solve the mystery.
Bennett wrote this as a 15-part serial, for a lark, in 15 days, and sold it for 100 pounds. It first appeared in The Golden Penny in 1902, which described it as “the most original, amusing, and thrilling serial written in a decade”.

First Page:


By Arnold Bennett

T. Racksole & Daughter


'YES, sir?'

Jules, the celebrated head waiter of the Grand Babylon, was bending formally towards the alert, middle aged man who had just entered the smoking room and dropped into a basket chair in the corner by the conservatory. It was 7.45 on a particularly sultry June night, and dinner was about to be served at the Grand Babylon. Men of all sizes, ages, and nationalities, but every one alike arrayed in faultless evening dress, were dotted about the large, dim apartment. A faint odour of flowers came from the conservatory, and the tinkle of a fountain. The waiters, commanded by Jules, moved softly across the thick Oriental rugs, balancing their trays with the dexterity of jugglers, and receiving and executing orders with that air of profound importance of which only really first class waiters have the secret. The atmosphere was an atmosphere of serenity and repose, characteristic of the Grand Babylon. It seemed impossible that anything could occur to mar the peaceful, aristocratic monotony of existence in that perfectly managed establishment... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 3 reviews)

Reviewer: - October 31, 2016
Subject: The grand Babylon hotel
Wonderful story, enough mystery and humour and well read, except for pronouncing yacht as Yort , Thames as thems, and the bowing as beauing. Which certainly does not distract from the reading.
Reviewer: - November 24, 2015
Subject: The Grand Babylon Hotel
I enjoyed this book, it is a great story and very well read.
Reviewer: - November 3, 2014
Subject: the grand hotel babylon
Thoroughly enjoyed this story though would not have put in the comedy genre. Very well read by Anna except for pronouncing bow as beau and there is an awful lot of beauing in the tale She did correct this in chapter 28 which amused me and in no way did it detract from her telling.

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