If You Love The White Lotus, Here Is The Book You Should Read

HBO's "The White Lotus" took the summer of 2021 by storm. With a star-studded cast including veteran comedic actress Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton of "Friday Night Lights" fame, and "Euphoria's" Sydney Sweeney (among others), the show follows the patrons of The White Lotus resort hotel and the hilarious — and sometimes deadly — implications of their privilege. As Jennifer Coolidge explained to Variety, we don't always fully appreciate where we are, even in the most beautiful resort in the world.

With the looming promise of murder, episodes seamlessly transition between comedy, thriller, and just plain drama. As noted by Roger Ebert, the show isn't necessarily happy or upbeat, but it's still well worth watching, especially as it encapsulates the simultaneously amusing yet alarming behaviors of the elite. According to Jennifer Coolidge herself, "If [creator Mike White] was never successful, and we just did 'White Lotus' as a play in a little theater where everyone paid 10 bucks to see it, it would still be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me."

As fans await Season 2 and a whole new A-list ensemble cast — with the exception of Jennifer Coolidge, who is set to revive her role — there's no shortage of White Lotus-esque books to keep you occupied. If you're interested in tropical resorts with a dark underbelly, "The Long Corner" could be for you.

Paradise is subjective in The Long Corner

Like "The White Lotus," Alexander Maksik's 2022 novel "The Long Corner" blends satire with drama — and, of course, a generous helping of mystery. Beginning in a politically turbulent 2017 Manhattan, the story follows Solomon Fields, once a promising young art journalist. However, Sol has become what his late grandmother would call a "sellout" when he switches careers for a paycheck. Now, working at an advertisement agency, Sol feels far from New York City's art and culture scene, the very world he once wrote about and loved (via Publisher's Weekly). So, when a mysterious emissary approaches the former writer at a party and asks him to join a tropical artists' retreat called the Coded Garden, he doesn't say no. Maybe it will be just the thing he needs.

However, the resort's mysterious patron, Sebastian Light, is far more ominous than he is generous. Sol must navigate the dark underbelly of a place that, at first glance, appears to be an artist's paradise. As noted by The New York Times, the book is "eerie and moving," adding that it offers "an argument for the necessity of irony, risk and integrity in the production of art as in life." The bottom line: It's a page-turner. With all its sweet-smelling scenery, the Coded Garden might just remind you of The White Lotus resort — minus Jennifer Coolidge, of course.