Book Review: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

An interesting read at times, however, too long and slightly derived.

I must confess that I am only 150 odd pages into the 600 page The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (on my Kindle). But I have a strange desire to write a partial review of this book.

A few things I loved about The Harry Quebert Affair (by Joël Dicker):

  1. It’s an easy, compelling read: The pages turn by themselves, you are gripped by the story.. and what to keep flipping those pages to learn more.
  2. The chapters are numbered in descending order. Which is fascinating!!! As a writer myself, I often label each chapter in ascending order (1, 2, 3…) which is what ALL writers do. And aren’t all writers just idiots for doing that! A reader wants to know how many chapters are left, how much of this thrilling book is left.. so labelling each chapter 31, 30, 29, 28… just makes me want to keep on reading! I’m definitely doing this for all my future books from now on!
  3. I love the meta-writer within the story. All the quotes and quibbles on how to write, writer’s block, running till you feel no pain so that you can keep on writing. Strikes a chord! 🙂
  4. It’s a murder mystery at it’s core. Which I LOVE.

Things I do not much care for:

  1. The language seems stunted at times. Especially the voice of Harry Quebert himself. I found it forced and not natural at all. But later I realised that this was because Joel Dicker is a Swiss author! And the work is a translation! Of course!
  2. And now I realise that Joel Dicker was born in 1985 and the book was published 3 years ago which would make him around 27 years at the moment this book became a best-seller! Just like Marcus Goldman, the (arrogant, annoying) protagonist of the novel! So meta! (Okay, this is a positive point, not a negative!)

Update: January 7, 2015. Finally finished reading the book and, I have to admit, it did carry on forever. The pace of the book did slow down considerably from the 25% to 75% sections. The last 20% or so picked up once again, with the story becoming gripping. However, it did feel fabricated quite a bit — with the finger of suspicion being flung around like confetti. With the cool ‘you-would-never-see-it-coming’ ending, I can just imagine this turning into the next Gone-Girl-esque hollywood flick.

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