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The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Joël Dicker , Sam Taylor
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.***
Copyright © 2014 by Joel Dicker

“Jesus, Marc, have you heard?”

“Heard what?”

“My God, turn on the T V! It’s about Harry Quebert! It’s Quebert!”

I put on the news. To my amazement I saw the house at Goose Cove on the screen and heard the presenter say: “It was here, in his home in Somerset, New Hampshire, that author Harry Quebert was arrested today after police discovered human remains on his property. Initial inquiries suggest this may be the body of Nola Kellergan, a local girl who at the age of fifteen disappeared from her house in August 1975 and has never been seen since.” The room began spinning around me, and I collapsed onto the couch in a daze. I couldn’t hear anything clearly anymore—not the TV, nor Douglas, at the other end of the line, bellowing, “Marcus? Are you there? Hello? He killed a girl? Quebert killed a girl?” In my head, everything blurred together like a bad dream.

So it was that I found out, at the same time as a stupefied America, what had happened a few hours earlier: That morning a landscaping company had arrived at Goose Cove, at Harry’s request, to plant hydrangea bushes. When they dug up the earth, the gardeners found human bones buried three feet deep and had immediately informed the police. A whole skeleton had quickly been uncovered, and Harry had been arrested.

On TV screen they cut between live broadcasts from Somerset and from Concord, sixty miles northwest, where Harry was in police custody. Apparently a clue found close to the body strongly suggested that here were the remains of Nola Kellergan; a police spokesman had already indicated that if this information was confirmed, Harry Quebert would also be named as a suspect in the murder of one Deborah Cooper, the last person to have seen Nola alive on August 30, 1975. Cooper had been found murdered the same day, after calling the police. It was appalling. The rumble grew ever louder as the news crossed the country in real time, relayed by television, radio, the Internet, and social networks: Harry Quebert, sixty-seven, one of the greatest authors of the second half of the twentieth century, was a child predator.

It took me a long time to realize what was happening. Several hours, perhaps. At 8 p.m., when a worried Douglas came by to see how I was holding up, I was still convinced that the whole thing was a mistake.

“How can they accuse him of two murders when they’re not even sure it’s the body of this Nola?” I said.

“Well, there was a corpse buried in his yard, however you look at it.”

“But why would he have brought people in to dig up the place where he’d supposedly buried a body? It makes no sense! I have to go there.”

“Go where?”

“New Hampshire. I have to defend Harry.”

Douglas replied with that down-to-earth Midwestern sobriety: “Absolutely not, Marcus. Don’t go there. You don’t want to get involved in this mess.”

“Harry called me . . .”

“When? Today?”

“About one this afternoon. I must have been the one telephone call he was allowed. I have to go there and support him! It’s very important.”

“Important? What’s important is your second book. I hope you haven’t been taking me for a ride and that you really will have a manuscript ready by the end of the month. Barnaski is shitting bricks. Do you realize what’s going to happen to Harry? Don’t get mixed up in this, Marc. Don’t screw up your career.”

On T V the state attorney general was giving a press conference. He listed the charges against Harry: kidnapping and two counts of murder. Harry was formally accused of having murdered Deborah Cooper and Nola Kellergan. And the punishment for these crimes, taken together, was death.


Harry’s fall was only just beginning. Footage of the preliminary hearing, which was held the next day, was broadcast on T V. We saw Harry arrive in the courtroom, tracked by dozens of T V cameras and illuminated by photolighting, handcuffed, and surrounded by policemen. He looked as if he had been through hell: somber faced, unshaven, hair disheveled, shirt unbuttoned, eyes swollen. His lawyer, Benjamin Roth, stood next to him. Roth was a renowned attorney in Concord who had often advised Harry in the past. I knew him slightly, having met him a few times at Goose Cove.

The whole country was able to watch the hearing live as Harry pleaded not guilty, and the judge ordered him remanded into custody in New Hampshire’s State Prison for Men. But this was only the start of the storm. At that moment I still had the naive hope that it would all be over soon, but one hour after the hearing, I received a call from Benjamin Roth.

“Harry gave me your number,” he said. “He insisted I call. He wants you to know that he’s innocent, that he didn’t kill anybody.”

“I know he’s innocent,” I said. “Tell me how he’s doing?”

“Not too great, as you can imagine. The cops have been giving him a hard time. He admitted to having a fling with Nola the summer she disappeared.”

“I knew about Nola. What about the rest?”

Roth hesitated a second before answering. “He denies it. But . . .”

“But what?” I demanded.

“Marcus, I’m not going to hide it from you. This is going to be difficult. The evidence is . . .”

“The evidence is what? Tell me, for God’s sake!”

“This has to stay a secret. No one can know.”

“I won’t say a word. You can trust me.”

“Along with the girl’s remains the investigators found the manuscript of The Origin of Evil.”


“I’m telling you, the manuscript of that damn book was buried with her. Harry is in deep shit.”

“What does Harry say?”

“He says he wrote that book for her. That she was always snooping around his home in Goose Cove, and that sometimes she would borrow his pages to read. He says that a few days before she disappeared, she took the manuscript home with her.”

“What? He wrote that book for her?”

“Yes. But that can’t get out, under any circumstances. You can imagine the scandal there’d be if the media found out that one of the bestselling books of the last fifty years is not a simple love story, like everyone thinks, but based on an illicit affair between a guy of thirty-four and a girl of fifteen . . .”

“Can you get him released on bail?”

“Bail? You don’t understand how serious this is. There’s no question of bail when it comes to capital crimes. The punishment he risks is lethal injection. Ten days from now his case will be presented to a grand jury, which will decide whether to pursue charges and hold a trial. It’s just a formality. There’s no doubt there will be a trial.”

“And in the meantime?”

“He’ll stay in prison.”

“But if he’s innocent?”

“That’s the law. I’m telling you—this is a very serious situation. He’s accused of murdering two people.”

I slumped back on the couch. I had to talk to Harry.

“Ask him to call me!” I said to Roth.

“I’ll pass on your message.”

“Tell him I absolutely have to talk to him, and that I’m waiting for his call.”

Right after hanging up, I went to my bookshelves and found my copy of The Origin of Evil. Harry’s inscription was on the first page:

To Marcus, my most brilliant student

Your friend,

H. L. Quebert, May 1999

I immersed myself once again in that book, which I hadn’t opened in years. It was a love story, mixing a straight narrative with epistolary passages, the story of a man and woman who loved each other without really being allowed to love each other. So he had written this book for that mysterious girl about whom I still knew nothing. I finished rereading it in the middle of the night, and contemplated the title. And for the first time I wondered what it meant: Why The Origin of Evil? What kind of evil was Harry talking about?


Two days passed, during which the DNA analyses and dental impressions confirmed that the skeleton discovered at Goose Cove was indeed that of Nola Kellergan. The investigators were able to determine that the skeleton was that of a fifteen-year-old child, indicating that Nola had died more or less at the time of her disappearance. But, most important, a fracture at the back of the skull provided the certainty, even after more than thirty years, that Nola Kellergan had died from at least one blow to the head.

I had no news of Harry. I tried to get in touch with him through the state police, through the prison, and through Roth, but without success. I paced my apartment, tormented by thousands of questions, plagued by the memory of his weird call. By the end of the weekend, I couldn’t take it anymore, and I decided that I had little choice but to go to see what was happening in New Hampshire.

Revue de presse

Worldwide Acclaim for The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
One of Us Weekly’s 4 “Stories for a Sunny Escape”
One of The Hollywood Reporter’s “10 Hot Summer Beach Reads”
One of Minneapolis Star Tribune’s “5 Mysteries You Must Read”
One of Parade’s “20 Best Summer Books”
One of Houston Chronicle’s “21 Summer Book Recommendations”
One of New York Post’s “29 Best Books of the Summer”
One of Tampa Bay Times’s “Best Books for Summer Reading”
One of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Best Books for Your Summer Reading List”
One of The Daily Beast’s “Hot Reads”

“Unimpeachably terrific . . . A playful, page-turning whodunit . . . If Norman Mailer had been accused of murder and Truman Capote had collaborated with Dominick Dunne on a tell-all about it, the result might have turned out something like this. Though I suspect this version may be funnier. . . . It’s [Dicker’s] light touch and engaging voice that make the writing so infectious, and will probably make it a best seller here as well.” —Chelsea Cain, The New York Times Book Review

“I haven’t had a suspense novel surprise me like this one in a long time. Joël Dicker is a bright new star of suspense, and he proves his serious chops with this utterly thrilling, delightfully twisted, continually shocking novel. I can’t wait to read what he writes next!” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing

“A dazzling thriller—stunningly original and brilliantly plotted, down to the very last twists. It’s a murder mystery, a literary puzzle, and a love story, all ingeniously woven into a masterly novel of suspense. Joël Dicker is an enormous talent, and this book is extraordinary.” —Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Death Angel
“Talk about a web of treason and danger: This one unfolds with a relentless sense of urgency and pulse-pounding escapades, entertaining at every turn. Absolutely rousing.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception

“Planes, trains and automobiles: You’ll see people reading this book everywhere. An amazing debut and wonderful summer read from a writer to watch.” —Michael Harvey, bestselling author of The Chicago Way

“The great American crime novel . . . A breakneck thriller.” —Details

“A terrific read . . . Entertaining . . . Cleverly constructed . . . It’s compelling, challenging, sometimes even funny. The characters are finely drawn. . . . It keeps you, as they say of movies, ‘on the edge of your seat.’ ” —The Huffington Post

“An intense, well-crafted mystery . . . This is a big book with a small cast, lots of layers with a variety of suspects who have the means, the motive and the opportunity. . . . Come for the big, literary mystery, and brag about the prizes when you’re done. Vacation time at a Somerset mansion not included.” —KQED, “Great Lit Perfect for Summer Reading”

“Entertainingly pulled off . . . Enjoyable . . . It churns along at such a good clip and is rendered with such high emotion and apparent deep conviction that it’s easy to see why it was a bestseller in Europe. It’s likely to be one in this country, too.” —The Washington Post

“A wonderful, fun, and boisterous read, a book with an uncanny ability to both fascinate and amuse you. Twists and turns and oddball characters make this a rollicking bullet-train of a novel.” —, Best Book of the Month

“A highly entertaining mash-up of melodrama, metafiction and mystery [with] a slick page-turning plot.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Charmingly off-kilter . . . Sure-footed . . . No wonder it’s already a best seller in Europe.” —The Daily Beast
“[A] funny, plot-twisting mystery.” —Women’s Day, “New Favorites from the Women’s Day Staff”
“Stunning . . . Fast-paced, tightly plotted . . . From page one, you’ll be hooked on this fascinating mystery of love and deception.” —National Examiner
“Smart and fun.” —Houston Chronicle
“A clever, tightly plotted thriller with a comic edge.” —Tampa Bay Times
“A unique thriller . . . A page-turning police procedural . . . This dramatic, original first novel has made Joël Dicker a famous writer in Europe, and may do so in America as well.” —Concord Monitor
“Moves at break-neck speed . . . I enjoyed it and got wrapped in its ambitious, multi-layered story.” —Oline Cogdill, Mystery Scene
“A sensational story, imaginatively related. . . . Dicker does what every gifted crime writer does: he makes the reader slowly realize that there are any number of potential killers. . . . It’s first-rate deception. . . . [You’ll] be surprised again and again [and] find yourself reading faster and faster. Dicker has clearly mastered the art of creating suspense.” —CounterPunch
“Fast-paced . . . Dynamic . . . A captivating murder mystery as well as a compelling love story.” —Shepherd Express
“Is Harry worth the hype? I have to say ‘yes.’ . . . It’s 600-plus pages that I kept reading. . . . The plot has more dark twists and turns than a drug lord’s tunnel. . . . Nothing—repeat—nothing is as it seems. . . . We are completely hooked.” —Irma Helman, Open Letters Monthly

“An ambitious, multilayered novel of suspense . . . This tale of fame, friendship, loyalty, and fiction versus reality moves at warp speed.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This sprawling, likable whodunit [is] obvious ballast for the summer’s beach totes. . . . Dicker keeps the prose simple and the pace snappy in a plot that winds up with more twists than a Twizzler. . . . [An] entertaining debut thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tantalizing . . . Compelling . . . There is a Twin Peaks–like fascination to the story of Nola Kellergan. . . . Readers are certain to be caught up in the ongoing drama of who killed Nola among the plethora of suspects.” —Booklist
“The cleverest, creepiest book you’ll read this year . . . The most talked-about French novel of the decade . . . Breathtakingly plotted . . . Addictively fast . . . It’s like Twin Peaks meets Atonement meets In Cold Blood. . . . The New England setting [is] immersively convincing. . . . Very few foreign-language novels make big waves in Anglophone countries, but this one seems genuinely likely to buck the trend.” —The Telegraph

“Spellbinding . . . a top-class literary thriller . . . It is maddeningly, deliciously impossible to guess the truth.” —The Times
“A phenomenon . . . A page-turner . . . Compulsively easy to read.” —The Observer
“With enough plot twists to fill a truck, it is a racy read. . . . Part master-and-disciple tale, part whodunnit, Mr. Dicker’s thriller is also a postmodern confabulation of timelines and stories, in the manner of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.” —The Economist
“[An] In Cold Blood–style investigation of a Twin Peaks–like town . . . A smart, immensely readable, impressively plotted page-turner [that] keeps the surprises coming right up to the closing pages. . . . An immersive, propulsive, continually wrongfooting twister of a tale, it should delight any reader who has felt bereft since finishing Gone Girl, or Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.” —Metro

“A seductive read—big, assertive and clever . . . Expertly told . . . Hard to resist . . . Well-crafted and highly enjoyable.” —The Independent
“Dicker has the first-rate crime novelist’s ability to lead his readers up the garden path. . . . An excellent story.” —Sunday Express

“[It] does well . . . what all good thrillers should: it twists and turns. . . . [It] has the pleasing spryness of one of Jessica Fletcher’s outings [in Murder, She Wrote]. . . . Just like a [Harlan] Coben novel, it’s very enjoyable.” —The Guardian
“A scintillating, page-turning debut . . . Expertly paced . . . tautly written . . . A powerful novel about passion, jealousy, family, redemption, friendship and love, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a Great American Novel—written by a European.” —The Bookseller


“Fabulous, clever stuff . . . This extraordinary thriller . . . grabs you, its characters so intriguingly flawed and pulsating that you simply can’t stop reading. . . . The real genius of this work is in its incredible construction, diving forwards and backwards with multiple storytellers.”The Australian Women’s Weekly

“If you dip your toes into this major novel, you’re finished: you won’t be able to keep from sprinting through to the last page. You will be manipulated, thrown off course, flabbergasted and amazed by the many twists and turns, red herrings and sudden changes of direction in this exuberant story.” —Le Journal du Dimanche
“A funny, intelligent, breathtaking book within a book . . . There is a real joy in discovering this extraordinary novel.” Lire

“A master stroke . . . A crime novel with not one plot line but many, full of shifting rhythms, changes of course and multiple layers that, like a Russian doll, slot together beautifully . . . In maestro form, Dicker alternates periods and genres (police reports, interviews, excerpts from novels) and explores America in all its excesses—media, literary, religious—all the while questioning the role of the literary writer.” —L’Express
“The success story of the literary season . . . An American thriller reminiscent of the best work of Truman Capote.” Paris-Match
“Dizzying, like the best American thrillers . . . Rich in subplots and twists, moving backwards and forwards in time, containing books within books.”  Le Figaro
“After The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, the contemporary novel will no longer be the same. Verdict: summa cum laude. . . . A beautiful novel.” —Corriere della Sera
“Narrative talent is about making a work of art out of life. Dicker has got it.” —Vanity Fair
“A book within a book, a crime novel, a love story. Extraordinary.” —Cosmopolitan
“Brilliantly narrated.” —Stern
“A novel with all the ingredients of a global bestseller.” —Die Zeit
The Netherlands
“A story brimming with such intelligence and subtlety that you can only regret that it has to end. A novel that works on so many levels: a crime story, a love story, a comedy of manners, but equally an incisive critique of the art of the modern author.” —Elsevier
“A novel that calls to mind the journalistic investigations of Truman Capote, the murder plots of Donna Tartt and the romantic scandal of Nabakov’s Lolita.” —NRC NEXT
“Packed with action, psychological drama and . . . extraordinary suspense.” —NRC Handelsblad

“Captivating and enchanting . . . a true literary adventure.” —Algemeen Dagblad
“Wonderful dialogue, colorful characters, breathtaking twists and a plot that allows no pause for breath . . . Everything is perfectly woven together to create an irresistible story in which absolutely nothing is as it seems.” —Trouw
“Never have I felt so compelled to recommend a book this highly. . . . I was mesmerized and fascinated long after I had finished reading. . . . It has echoes of Twin Peaks and Death on the Staircase, John Grisham, Psycho, The Exorcist, and The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving.” —La Vanguardia
“This book will be celebrated and studied by future writers. It is a model thriller.” —El Periódico de Catalunya
“Masterful . . . The great thriller that everyone has been waiting for since the Millennium Trilogy of Stieg Larsson.” El Cultural de El Mundo

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1059 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 657 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0143126687
  • Editeur : MacLehose Press (30 avril 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°6.502 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best reads ever 19 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I read this book in English & waited months for kindle version. It was worth it. I missed my train stop on more than one occasion I was so engrossed. i literally could not put it down & even when I was not reading it I was thinking about it. Was sad when I had finished as thought it was take me much longer to read over 600 pages. Every time you think the mystery is solved something else turns up. Definitely recommend it but watch out for your train station😊
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6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Run! (Away!!!) 26 juin 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié

Spare yourselves; do not buy this book. It was almost physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and NEVER COME OUT. What on earth caused this book to receive such acclaim???

So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but ok for now.

But the rest.... In no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care

- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every suddenly sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that goes for the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been put on this earth only to fawn over, praise and massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? He reminds me of kids who want to be rock star for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the crowds of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - actors, maybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much, but WRITERS?? How many would you even recognize???
Lire la suite ›
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must 28 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A captivating style and story which keeps surprising you to the end. A main character that grows into a wonderful man as he learns about writing, friendship and love. A wonderful read.
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1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This could be happening in your town 6 août 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The story is built as like concentric circles. It starts with the larger ones. The central character, a young author (Marcus Goldman) who has written a very successful book and since then fails to write one single line. The next inner circle is the Marcus master (Harry Québert), a very strong individual who is in love with Nola, a 15 year-old girl.
Until page 100, if you don't understand that the pen of Marcus is out of order, that Harry is in love with Nola and Nola loves Harry, so the this book is not for you.
In fact, I nearly dropped it, but there is something special that made me go to the next page, again and again. Each time I've crossed an inner circle, the rhythm is becoming more intense, the depth of details more accurate. Until the last pages, the investigation is still running and you only get the all plot at the very end of the book.
I've finished reading this book one week ago and it is still in my head. I'm still reviewing the complexity of this maze. This could exist at the next door...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.3 étoiles sur 5  834 commentaires
203 internautes sur 237 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Hey, it won big literary prizes in France! (Where they think Jerry Lewis is a genius) 7 juin 2014
Par Maine Colonial - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have just two problems with this book: (1) the ludicrous and lurid plot, and (2) the stunningly amateurish writing. It was painful, but I read every bit of the book, mostly because I just couldn't believe this could be the same book that has been such a huge best-seller abroad. I figured it had to transform itself into something great, but if anything, it just got worse with each passing page.

I'll keep the plot summary brief, since you can read that just about anywhere. The protagonist, Marcus Goldman, is a young writer who hit it big with his first novel and is now hopelessly blocked. Under tremendous pressure from his agent and rapacious publisher, he flees to the seaside town of Somerset, New Hampshire, to get help from his college mentor, the literary lion Harry Quebert.

Shortly after Marcus's visit, Harry is arrested for the murder of a teenage girl, Nola Kellergan, who had disappeared over 30 years earlier and whose body has just been found buried under Harry's lawn, along with the original manuscript of Harry's most famous novel, The Origin of Evil. Marcus decides he must investigate to clear Harry, and submits to his publisher's pressure to write a book about what is being called the Harry Quebert Affair.

First of all, it's downright creepy that the then 34-year-old Harry had a love affair with a 15-year-old girl. And he's not the only grown man in town to have a thing for Nola. We have to read a lot about these age-inappropriate passions, but at least there is a little comedy value in that reading, with deathless prose like this:

"As soon as he saw her, he felt his heart explode. He missed her so much. As soon as she saw him, she felt her heart explode. She had to speak to him."

Unfortunately, those exploding hearts were not fatal. Harry and Nola continue to play their parts in Somerset, a burg whose citizens behave like cartoon versions of that old-time celebration of small-town sin, Peyton Place. There are shrewish wives, henpecked husbands, tongue-tied swains, gossipy diner denizens, a hideously-scarred chauffeur with a speech impediment. (And, yes, his dialog is presented with the impediment: "Pleave excuve me, Mifter Quebert. I didn't mean to fcare you. But Miftern Ftern defperately wantf to fee you.") But most of all, there are people with deep dark secrets.

If this description makes the book sound kind of fun, in a campy, soap-opera-ish way, I apologize. It isn't. None of the characters seem to have emotionally progressed beyond Nola's age--which doesn't make all the men lusting after her any more appropriate. The writing manages to be both purple and uninspired. I think it's because when the author writes with constant literal and figurative exclamation points, hyperbole and overblown description, the reader soon becomes dulled to it. Also, Dicker's writing is clichéd and he repeats himself--repeatedly! A good couple of hundred pages could have been edited out of this thing. It would still be bad, but at least there'd be less of it.

At last, in the final one-third or so of the book, we learn what happened to Nola that summer of 1975. Or do we? Over and over, the mystery appears to reach a resolution, but then we find out that the resolution was wrong. You soon learn that when the police investigator exclaims something like "we've got it this time!" it's another red herring. Clearly not a believer in the less-is-more approach, Dicker pulls a few other rabbits out of his hat (in addition to the mystery of Nola), but each trick is about as impressive as a nine-year-old learning to be a magician.

Before I posted this review, I decided to try to find out why some people thought this was a great book. I found a few print reviewers who talked about what a terrific satire this is of the publishing industry and how interesting it is as a piece of metafiction--because it's a writer (Joël Dicker) writing about a writer (Marcus Goldman) writing about a writer (Harry Quebert). I also noticed that a disproportionate number of the favorable print reviews seem to have been written by fellow authors. Over time, I've learned to be leery of those. Too often, authors feel obligations to agents, publishers or others they may have in common with the author of the book being reviewed. And authors quite often have very different priorities from readers. In any case, to me, the real satire of the publishing business is that this novel was published at all. And as for metafiction, well, no matter how "meta" this might be, that bit of writerly cleverness can't elevate the terrible writing and plotting into something that serves the reader well.

0.5 stars
73 internautes sur 85 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Run!! Away!!! 26 juin 2014
Par alienorhuman - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle

Spare yourselves; do not buy this book. It was almost physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and NEVER COME OUT. What on earth caused this book to receive such acclaim???

So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but ok for now.

But the rest.... In no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care

- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every suddenly sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that goes for the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been put on this earth only to fawn over, praise and massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? He reminds me of kids who want to be rock star for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the crowds of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - actors, maybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much - but WRITERS?? How many would you even recognize??? Also, within the very first chapter, we learn he's all about his Italian shoes, expensive NY apartment and trophy girlfriends, while being a self-aggrandizing whiny lying cheating a****le - and there's even a rule at the end of the book about hooking readers in the first chapter - oh well, that did not happen. There's also a character asking for a refund for the writer's book - sign me up!
So a writer (Dicker) writing about a writer (Marcus 'the Magnificent' Goldman) writing about a writer (Harry Québert)... God knows I love books but even I found this a bit indigestible.

- laughable secondary characters; the Jewish mother skit, the 'frustrated but deep', loud, manipulative bar owner - OH COME ON. It sounds like those Hollywood movies with 20 writers, one of which has to shoehorn comic relief in there, so you get a tap dancing number in a concentration camp. The Republican lawyer who has a cash machine where his heart should be, the threatening, grandiose, immoral publisher - none of which is deep enough to understand TRU LUV.

- which brings me, inevitably to the 'love' (sic) story. Oh please. I'm writhing inside. While I very much accept that age difference is not an impediment to Luv, a 34-year old 'falling in luv' with a teenager because she's 'dancing in the rain' (sic) sounds like... Drumroll... INFATUATION, or LUST. Mister bigshot writer (which one? Does it matter?) should have a way with words, but seems utterly incapable of self-analysis, diagnostic, soul-searching etc. And from there we get the MOST INANE dialogues I have EVER read outside of Barbara Cartland books. Even 33 YEARS later, the dude wallows in self-pity and 'she's the only one I'd ever love' whines that would make me want to smash a baby into a wall. Why were you in Luv, exactly? 'Cause she made you sandwiches and 'took care of you'??? I kid you not, this is what their whole relationship is about, and - wait for it - they only hang out for THREE MONTHS. Also, the kid is (spoiler, but do you care at this point) orphaned and suffers from psychotic breaks - is there anything that screams 'victim' any louder to you? Ach, it reminds me of Lars von Trier movies.
So, ok, you may be attracted to someone 20 years your junior. But if that someone fits the description above and has massively crushed on you - well, I've got news buster; you're just exploiting someone's intense vulnerabilities and the fact that you throw the rest of your whole life away afterwards doesn't make your Luv 'more sacred'. It just makes you a creep who is unable to deal with reality and is only able to befriend one other person for the rest of your life, another creep.

- when does the Police. Ever. Lets. A civilian. Lead. An. Investigation???? Especially in the US of A???? You have got to be kidding me.

- oh the writing, oh the writing... I'll take an inch out of my sting because I read a translated version, but still - English and French are BOTH my maternal languages and as I was trying to go back and forth to imagine what the translator could have improved I was left in the dust. Oh, the maudlin, immature, 'poor-me' waterfalls in this book - oh what about the editing, the verbatim copies of previous pages - oh the psychological characterizations and depth that could fit in a thimble, oooh.

It was atrocious. I can't believe this even got published. Maybe because there are publisher characters in there? Maybe because Dicker held someone's mother for *cough* blackmail? I don't get it. Read anything else.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Lost In Translation? 26 juin 2014
Par K. - Publié sur
I cannot believe this book is an International Best Seller. It is horrible. The writing style is so simplistic and elementary, I am wondering if the beauty of the original language was lost in the English translation? Because what we are left with has zero finesse. The plot is ridiculously overblown with too many ostentatious twists and turns. So many times I found myself thinking, "now, that's just stupid." This author does not know how to end a book - just when you thought it should be wrapping up some other ridiculous element of surprise was tossed in. Large tomes do not scare me; however, this book was at least 300 pages too long. The story could have been told (better) in a much smaller space. I completely lost interest in this book's meandering path around page 450 and had to force myself to finish only because I had already invested too much time.

I can't think of anything good to say about this book. My biggest complaint is that the characterizations did not remain true. There are several examples of this, but let me just use the one that bothered me the most - that of the disfigured Luther Caleb. When we first hear his story, we learn that he was a talented, bright, promising, handsome young man destined for good things before the accident that destroyed his face. However, for much of the book, Luther behaves like someone who is also inflicted with a mental/learning disability rather than just a physical deformity and speech impediment. This man was not supposed to have any cognitive issues - however he sure seemed like it by his thought process and interactions with others. Luther is only one example but you will find similar flaws and limitations with nearly every character. The author doesn't even know his own characters, he just places them all into cliched, stereotypical boxes. It's really unfortunate.

Boring, ugly writing style. Long-winded, infeasible plot. Trite literary devices. All in all, a completely over-hyped book that I wish I had not wasted my time on. Please, take it from me, and do not waste a single second of your precious time on this overinflated novel. What I can't figure out is how anyone is giving this book more than the single star it barely rates.

Not recommended, in any language.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 His favorite student comes to his aid and tries to prove ... 1 juillet 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Writer 1: "I have an idea."
Writer 2: "Go on."
Writer 1: "The body of a young girl is dug up in a famous writer's yard and the writer is accused of her murder."
Writer 2: "Sounds promising!"
Writer 1: "The accused writer is a former professor. His favorite student comes to his aid and tries to prove his innocence."
Writer 2: "Sounds like a winner!"
Writer 1: "The accused writer had a relationship with the girl when he was in his mid thirties and she was fifteen."
Writer 2: "That might be a problem."
Writer 1: "But wait. I'll throw in lines like, 'Her heart was bursting with love,' and 'He couldn't stop thinking about her even though he knew it was wrong.'"
Writer 2: "Okay. You're losing me."
Writer 1: "Every page will have lines like, 'We'll dance one day, Nola. We'll have our whole lives to dance.'"
Writer 2: "Please stop."
Writer 1: "So you see? It's okay that the main character is a pedophile. The reader will root for the pedophile."
Writer 2: "I think I saw this on Dateline."
Writer 1: "With lines like, 'I was thinking we could go away this weekend. Not far. To Main, for example. Someplace where nobody knows us. So we can feel more free,' it will be okay."
Writer 2: (punches Writer 1 in the face and exits)

You should believe what people are saying about this book. It's a good story, and might make a pretty good movie (pedophilia aside). But the writing is gut-wrenchingly awful.
59 internautes sur 70 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 hugely over-hyped 7 mai 2014
Par Marnie44 - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I started this recommended novel with eager anticipation. The first 45 pages or so seemed to live up to the promise . But it soon revealed itself to be a mish-mash of wild ideas based on a very shaky premise. The story very quickly lost its credibility for me and I did something mostly unthinkable - flipped through pages very quickly as they did so little to hold my attention. If this novel hadn't received so much marketing hype I wouldn't have bothered persevering to the end - an end that got more improbable with every paragraph. Seriously, when a story needs pages and pages of drawn out denouement that become more and improbable, I know I've been wasting my time. Perhaps in the hands of an experienced writer- and possibly editor - the ideas might have been better 'culled' and formed into a story with the essentials of tension, and character development as well as trying to say something meaningful about the craft of writing, A great disappointment.
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