In a rundown neighborhood in the heart of Las Vegas, the Alicia hotel awakens and beckons to the most vulnerable—those with something to hide.
After his parents are killed in a horrific roadside execution, Alvaro flees his home in Colombia and finds work as a line cook at the seedy hotel. Together with his sister, Carmen, he begins to make a new life in the desert, earning a promotion to management along with an irresistible offer to stay at the hotel rent-free. But as beloved photographs go missing, cockroaches seep from the walls, and grotesque strangers wander the corridors, the promise of the Alicia decays into nightmare. Alvaro discovers that the hotel is a small appendage of an enormous creature that feeds on guests and their secrets, one that will eventually bring him face-to-face with the memories he most wants to outrun. Alvaro, Carmen, and their friends decide to cooperate with the creature rather than fight it. But in their efforts to appease it, do they sacrifice too much of themselves?
Haunting and visceral, Extended Stay uses the language of body horror and the gothic to comment on the complicated relationship between the Latinx undocumented experience and capitalism, the erasure of those living and working on the margins, the heavy toll exacted by memory, and the queasy permeability of boundaries that separate the waking world from the world of dreams.
About the Author
Juan Martinez is the author of Best Worst American. He lives near Chicago and is an associate professor at Northwestern University.
"Martinez’s impressive debut—part of the University of Arizona’s Camino del Sol series, which spotlights Latinx authors—reads like a collaboration between Lewis Carroll and H.P. Lovecraft, from an idea by Stephen King. This is a fresh and stunning winner."—Publisher's Weekly
"There’s exuberant riches of creepy ideas here, steadily more outlandish. Hallways overrun with insects, parent companies and investment groups that blur into hapless cultists, threats from beyond the void, and some really good body horror – none of it comes unmoored from Alvaro’s hopes and fears, and all that comes later is uneasily balanced against the deeply disturbing and upsettingly realistic violence in the opening chapter.”—Locus
"Extended Stay is the kind of book that makes me want to raise my game. It's real, uncompromising, beautifully written, genuinely scary, and—best of all—downright weird. I've never read anything quite like it. Juan Martinez is the real deal, and I predict this book will become his calling card."—Nathan Ballingrud, author of The Strange and North American Lake Monsters
“Extended Stay is a strange, haunting, creepy read that brings together supernatural horror with the worst horrors of the real world. Martinez is a talented storyteller, and the dark core of this novel pulls readers in to reveal a collection of shattered lives and a collective shattered reality.”—Gabino Iglesias, author of The Devil Takes You Home and Coyote Songs
“Juan Martinez’s Extended Stay is moving, thrilling, and terrifying, sometimes all at once. It reads like what would happen if Roberto Bolaño and Brian Evenson teamed up to rewrite The Shining with a little advice from Nabokov, which is to say, like nothing I’ve ever read before.”—Christian TeBordo, author of The Apology
"This book broke me. At the heart of this story is an event so haunting that it lines every sentence with an acute anguish that insisted I read on. I needed to know if there was any hope for Alvaro and the people he loved. In Extended Stay Juan Martinez serves up horror at its very best: chilling images, marrow-stirring emotional stakes, and so many surprise turns that the Alicia Hotel feels terrifyingly limitless."—Jac Jemc, author of The Grip of It and Empty Theatre