Do you ever feel in a hotel that someone is watching you? Could there be a camera behind the mirror in the bathroom or in the smoke detector above your bed?
The subject of a new book bought a motel near Denver in the US to do precisely that; spy on his guests. The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese tells the story of Gerald Foos who drilled holes in ceilings and covered them with ventilation grills, and sat there for hours watching couples go through every sex act imaginable. This included a man who dressed up as a goat and ran around bleating, to murder. He concludes that the only couples who seem to enjoy pleasing one another are lesbians.
The book has been mired in controversy since publication. Initially The New Yorker published an excerpt and Steven Spielberg lined up Sam Mendes to direct the film, but later it was discovered that Foos didn’t own the motel for eight years when he claimed he did. The author reported Foos’s antics to the police but they declined to take any action.
On reviewer summed the book up as thus: ‘The Voyeur’s Motel is of negligible literary importance or merit. But it is outstandingly sleazy and creepy.’