Strange things are happening at the Grand Hotel... 'A hotel as a work of art in little ol' Mangowak? It was about as unlikely as an indoor creek.' Robbed of his zest for life by the absurd innovations of his local council, including knocking down the only pub in his beloved home town and roofing over a section of the creek to protect swimmers from the rain, artist Noel Lea exiles himself in the hills above Mangowak, on the southwest Victorian coast. He returns to find an unexpected destiny awaits. At a turning point in the town's history it seems he has a crucial role to play, as the unlikely publican of an even unlikelier hotel. This is a novel about an Australian pub twenty-first-century style, where the toilets play automated Dadaist recordings, Happy Hour comes with a blessing from the Pope and the patrons' libidos are as voracious as their thirst for the local ale. As events in the hotel take a twist that not even its inventive publican could have imagined, a long-held local mystery begins finally to unravel. Noel and his friends find themselves in uncharted territory, and, to make matters worse, the local authorities are hell-bent on closing them down.