Beach Babylon is yet another of the Babylon series that contains Hospital, Hotel, Fashion, Wedding etc. Each book, with the help of several anonymous insiders, provides an insider’s look into the world of hotels, hospitals etc. As I found Hospital Babylon amusing with some truth to it, I decided to try some more Babylon books. Not to mention that they also appear on discount piles and are exceptionally easy reads that can be read during busy working periods.
Beach Babylon is somewhat similar to Hotel Babylon in that it’s set in the hotel industry. However, this time the setting is an idyllic beach resort that seems to be situated on a private island somewhere in South East Asia. None of this five star rubbish, this resort is six stars for the serious high flyers and high spenders. Decadence reigns at this resort, from personal villa attendants, yachts at the disposal of guests, barbeques on sandbars dripping with food and alcohol. A crisis is when the Cristal shipment fails to arrive or there’s a Sheikh Attack (unexpected arrival of a sheikh).
But behind the glamour and the luxurious lifestyle, there’s the staff toiling away to meet every whim and need. The story is told in the first person by the manager, who is running his own little kingdom – with worker riots, a promiscuous chef, no water and huts next to the power generator. There’s no way of getting away from work – it’s 24/7, and takes its toll on both him (drinking every night with guests can be difficult) and causes his relationship to suffer. This book shows the extremes of human behaviour – from extreme selfishness and stupidity to full-blown generosity.
Light hearted and somewhat similar to Hotel Babylon, this was good escapist fare. It reminded me of resorts situated in isolated conditions and the fact that being unable to escape from paradise can be hell. A fast read, but a good one.
Read this if: you’ll never get to a six star resort anytime soon.
7 out of 10.