Title: The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
Author: Joel Dicker (translated to English by Sam Taylor)
Publishers: MacLehose Press, London (2015)
Genre: Fiction; Crime Mystery
What’s it about?
And if every writer had to limit his writing to his own experience, literature would be impoverished and would lose all its meaning. We’re allowed to write about anything that affects us. And no one can judge us for that. We’re writers because we do one thing differently, one thing that everyone around knows how to do: write. All the nuances reside there. Harry Quebert
And so it is that Marcus Goldman seeks to write a particular story about his mentor and inspiration, Harry Quebert.
Marcus Goldman is a high achieving and competitive writer, who has returned to see his mentor Harry Quebert in the quiet seaside town of Somerset, New Hampshire as the deadline for his second book looms. He is experiencing a severe case of writer’s block in the wake of his first highly acclaimed book.
It was while visiting Harry that the body of Nola, a 15 year old girl lost for some 30 years, was uncovered in the backyard of Harry’s house. As things unravel, stories involving Harry, Nola and the many characters in the town came to light as Marcus was compelled to investigate. There are twists to the story at every turn so don’t get comfortable. 🙂
Beyond the murder mystery/thriller (it is indeed difficult to slot this book into a particular genre), this book is also about the relationship between Harry and Marcus, the bonds they forged and the meaning of trust and loyalty. I can’t help being a vicarious mentee to Harry!
Don’t write in order to be read, write in order to be heard. Harry Quebert
This is also a romance novel, documenting a love story between two unlikely characters, a story of love and sacrifice that is rather unexpected, and makes the reader (moi) question the usual conceptions of love, age and romance.
What she felt for him was something I had never felt before…and it was at that moment that I realized…that I had probably never been in love. That lots of people have never been in love. That they make do with good intentions; that they hide away in the comfort of a crummy existence and shy away from that amazing feeling that is probably the only thing that justifies being alive. Robert Quinn
The conclusion was a little disappointing to me in that, after the twists and turns, it wrapped up neatly. Don’t get me wrong, it wrapped up well, the resolutions to a complex plot and multiple timelines are well executed but I was expecting one final twist but alas, no.
Would I recommend it?
This is a compelling book, a page turner expertly told with an engaging voice of Swiss writer Joel Dicker and translated seamlessly into English by Sam Taylor. It is a book which takes you into the life (and thoughts and emotions) of the characters, and you will lose yourself in that world.
There is dry wit and humor in the dialogue, a simplicity to the narrative which makes this book an entertaining easy read.
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Buy it at:
© 2015 LitWorldInterviews