READING: “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair” … uhm, lie to me, maybe?

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a novel by Joel Dicker, translated from the French by Sam Taylor, 643pp, published by Penguin Publishing Group [CLICK HERE TO VISIT PUBLISHER WEBSITE]

Harry QuebertWell then, here’s the thing, a book which has received raves and awards and become an international bestseller hardly needs me to love it, or, even, really, like it. My favorite thing about the book is the author’s photo on the flap. He’s kind of gorgeous.

The book, a meta-fictional thriller of sorts, has been touted everywhere. I suspect this has to do with the fact it’s set in the publishing milieu, denigrates publishers and the supposedly avaricious, immoral ways in which its corporations operate, and thus feeds into the resentments and angers of those in the book industry who are writing about it. Funny though, it seems a sort of hypocrisy to me to use all the bells and whistles and tricks of the trade to write a calculatedly composed meant-to-be best-seller in the service of criticizing those very things. But I guess that’s what makes it meta.

It was all a little much meta for me. Six hundred plus pages of meta. Only, it’s meta we’ve all seen before, just more of it, like, MEGA-meta. So, I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t get what all the huzzahs and hosannas and awards are about? It was okay. Lots of twists and turns and such. I just know that by the end I resented the amount of time I’d spent reading it to get less fun and thrill than I can get from a much faster and — for me — much more enjoyable John Sanford or Harlan Coben. And the comparisons to In Cold Blood and Twin Peaks and Hotel New Hampshire, that made me interested in the book, seem ridiculous to me now that I have finished it. It is NOTHING like any of those books (or shows) nor in any way near their level of invention, imagination, intrigue.

Sorry. I don’t like to write unpleasant things about books. But, like I said, it’s an international bestseller, what I say isn’t going to mean much to anyone but the people who actually do listen to me about what to read, and to them I say, don’t.


One thought on “READING: “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair” … uhm, lie to me, maybe?

  1. Pingback: READING: “The Quick, a novel” by Lauren Owen | herewearegoing

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