Assisted dying is one of the key ethical and political issues of our day.
Checking out of the Hotel Euthanasia is a novel that tackles the dilemmas head-on with a rare mixture of scabrous enthusiasm and due respect. The book is guaranteed to offend many; to help many come to a considered view of the complex issues involved around the topic; and to amuse as well as instruct many by the satirical approach used to engage with the topic. But one thing that can be guaranteed is that this amazing novel will leave no one indifferent.
Graham takes us 21 years into the future to tell the bizarre tales of the guests that come for the most luxurious death that money can buy, 100 percent personalised to the customer’s self indulgent desires– however weird those may be.
Graham’s satirical comedy has been skillfully written, following Rab Lennon and his Glasgow cronies on their adventure to blow up Hotel Euthanasia in revenge for the assisted killing of his parents. Along the way we find ourselves tripping over deep-rooted views, bumping into uneasy feelings and finding ourselves lost along the winding path of reality.
The effective juxtaposition of humour and death not only creates controversy, but catapults the reader into thoughts about the sanctity of life and freedom of choice. Graham neither argues for, nor against, but simply lays it all out bare: the ridiculousness, the sadness, the motives and the defeat, all felt by his characters. “With choice and free will the only thing you can be sure of is uncertainty.”
In the words of one pre-publication review:
“Checking Out of the Hotel Euthanasia is an always funny, often farcical, sometimes scabrous take on a serious subject, assisted dying. Swiftian in style, approach, and content, it relentlessly assaults the hypocrisies and muddled arguments around both sides of the euthanasia debate with a challenging combination of dispassionate calm and outrageous humour. It will offend many, amuse even more, and leave no-one untouched. It is a major contribution to the political and ethical debate already underway about the best response to a growing clamour for the legal right to end one’s life on one’s own terms.”