Monday, 12 September 2016

Mystery Monday: Dear Mr. M



DEAR MR. M
Written by Herman Koch 
Translated by Sam Garrett
September 6, 2016 (Originally published in 2014); 448 Pages
Hogarth; Picador
Genre: psychological thriller, mystery, suspense, literary

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

★★1/2


"Once a celebrated writer, M's greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.'s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.'s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the "story" off its rails." (From Publisher)

I love psychological thrillers if they are well done.  A friend recommended Koch's The Dinner and I had heard such good things, I thought I would try his newest book first.  After reading many reviews I have come to realize that I picked the wrong book to start with.  Many of those that read his other two books have said that this one is their least favourite...which makes me feel a bit better about still wanting to read The Dinner.  I could not really get into this book.  I liked the premise and but how it all played out just didn't keep me in suspense of any kind.  About 35% into the book, I was reading just to finish it.  I could pick up and read for a bit, but I found it easy to put it down and not long to pick it back up.  This novel is translated from Dutch so maybe some things were lost in translation. It was difficult to keep everything straight as there a few stories and characters. The characters are mostly unlikable, yet very interesting, but also very much like one another in that they were out for themselves.  While this novel was not for me I am looking forward to reading The Dinner.

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k (My Novelesque Life)

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