Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav
Grand Hotel Abyss by Stuart Jeffries
Add Grand Hotel Abyss to bookshelf
Add to Bookshelf

Grand Hotel Abyss

Best Seller
Grand Hotel Abyss by Stuart Jeffries
Paperback $19.95
Sep 26, 2017 | ISBN 9781784785697

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (2) +
  • Sep 26, 2017 | ISBN 9781784785697

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 20, 2016 | ISBN 9781784785680

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 20, 2016 | ISBN 9781784785710

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“Marvellously entertaining, exciting and informative.”
—John Banville, Guardian (“Best Books of 2016”)

“An engaging and accessible history of the lives and main ideas of the leading thinkers of the Frankfurt School.”
New York Review of Books

“This seemingly daunting book turned out to be an exhilarating page-turner … Grand Hotel Abyss is an outstanding critical introduction to some of the most fertile, and still relevant, thinkers of the 20th century.”
—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Stuart Jeffries has produced a compelling and politically pressing group portrait of the philosophers associated with the Frankfurt School. Their thinking has never seemed less forbidding and more inspiring.”
—Matthew Beaumont, author of Nightwalking

“Stuart Jeffries’s intelligent, accessible new book reminds us of the value of critical thinking.”
Globe and Mail

“A fractious Europe, a failing currency, a challenged economy, populist parties on the rise, a divided left, migration from the east, an atmosphere of fear combined with social and sexual liberalism. The parallels between Britain today and Germany in the 1920s may well make this a compelling moment to revisit those postwar German thinkers who gathered in what was known as the Frankfurt school for social research—something akin to a Marxist thinktank, though one whose policy papers and brilliant books fed future generations as much or more than their own … Little wonder, given the history of the 20th century, that the Frankfurt school gave us intellectual pessimism and negative dialectics. Jeffries’s biography is proof that such a legacy can be invigorating.”
—Lisa Appignanesi, Observer

“There is much to provoke interest and thought, even entertain, in Jeffries’ informative account of a group of highly intelligent observers and analysts of the imprisonment of humanity, both socially and individually by the corrosive system under which it suffers.”
Morning Star

“Attempts something rather daring … An easily accessible, funny history of one of the more formidable intellectual movements of the twentieth century … an easy, witty, pacy read.”
—Owen Hatherley, Guardian

“Jeffries moves swiftly across the decades, retracing the jagged paths from the official founding of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt in June 1924, through its years in exile in New York in the ’30s and Los Angeles in the ’40s and its hasty return to Frankfurt in the early postwar years, up to the work of Horkheimer and Adorno’s prized protégé Jürgen Habermas and the Institute’s legacy today.”
−Noah Isenberg, Bookforum

“Throughout the book, Jeffries demonstrates that he is comfortable and conversant with the often thorny philosophical ideas of his subjects. A rich, intellectually meaty history.”

“An impressive work of popular intellectual history.”
Open Letters Monthly

“Intriguing and provocative … Jeffries has done a great service in producing such a readable, wry and detailed introduction.”
—Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

“[Gives] a step by step insight into what they thought … A lot of that stuff they wrote about still applies.”
—Jason Williamson (Sleaford Mods), Guardian

“Equally sympathetic and critical, this book is sure to gain an enthusiastic reception from academics, armchair philosophers, and fellow travelers.”
Library Journal

“A towering work of staggering scholarship.”
Irish Times

“A valuable introduction to the lives and ideas of an influential group of twentieth century philosophers. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand why much of what passed for radical thought in academia in the late twentieth century was so obscure and depressing.”
—Ian Angus, Climate & Capitalism

“Humanises some of the most austere, (philosophically) negative, and intellectually intimidating thinkers of the past century … Jeffries draws out the intense and evolving relationship between these idiosyncratic theorists and their work, and eloquently illuminates the extent to which crude contingency shaped their philosophies and output. Jeffries succeeds in making this a truly personal, truly human illumination, be it presenting Marcuse’s letters addressing Adorno ‘dear Teddy,’ or Adorno signing off his missives to his parents affectionately, with ‘heartiest kisses from your Hippo King.’”
—Neal Harris,Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Stuart Jeffries
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top