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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down...
Looking at other reviews, feedback was very mixed. For my part, I loved this book. I could not put it down, reading great chunks of it at a time.

It’s a whodunit, mixed with a love story with some laugh out loud moments thrown in (think Writer’s Mom conversations and “poor Bobbie”).

If I compare it to some of the other recent...
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Smart crime and punishment
I read some of this book in the original French and some in English. As an exercise in vocabulary development of the former it could be described as useful. As a novel or creative endeavour I found it wanting. If you like your novels slick and smart as a frothy cappuccino then look no further; this is a cleverly constructed whodunit,no argument. If on the other hand you...
Published 11 months ago by Joey VanB


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down..., 30 July 2014
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This review is from: The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Kindle Edition)
Looking at other reviews, feedback was very mixed. For my part, I loved this book. I could not put it down, reading great chunks of it at a time.

It’s a whodunit, mixed with a love story with some laugh out loud moments thrown in (think Writer’s Mom conversations and “poor Bobbie”).

If I compare it to some of the other recent “overhyped” books that I’ve read – The Luminaries / The Goldfinch - this was my favourite of the three. My feeling was that they flagged in the final 10-20%, whereas this still felt fresh, although perhaps, ended with one or two plot twists too many.

Overall though, it was a brilliant read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical murder mystery, 12 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Kindle Edition)
The Truth about the Harry Quebert affair was recommended to me by a friend, and it certainly didn't disappoint. The style is unusual and very clever - it's a classic murder mystery at heart, but is written as a book about someone writing a a book about someone who wrote a book (book-ception?). The main character and voice of the book is highly likeable, and the various twists and turns definitely kept me guessing as to whodunnit - I can normally predict the ending, but I didn't guess this one! I also liked the fact that my opinion of the main characters evolved as I read the book and as new details emerged.

If you want a quick and easy holiday read, beware that it is fairly lengthy (my big issue problem with reading on a Kindle is that you can't immediately see how fat the book you've just ordered is!) but the story kept me engaged throughout and was well worth the time investment.

Loved it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Smart crime and punishment, 21 July 2014
By 
Joey VanB (Cumbria England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Kindle Edition)
I read some of this book in the original French and some in English. As an exercise in vocabulary development of the former it could be described as useful. As a novel or creative endeavour I found it wanting. If you like your novels slick and smart as a frothy cappuccino then look no further; this is a cleverly constructed whodunit,no argument. If on the other hand you seek more substantial fare then look elsewhere.Dostoevsky this is not. It does not come close to Donna Tartt or Henning Mankel. For me it lacked any serious content or literary soul.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I thought the premise was good: a successful author struggling with his second book ..., 4 July 2014
By 
Sandra Foy "Sandra" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Kindle Edition)
I was really looking forward to this book, I thought the premise was good: a successful author struggling with his second book comes to the rescue of his friend and mentor, Harry Quebert. Harry is accused of the murder of a 15 year old girl whom he is in love with. The body of the girl was discovered in Harry's back garden 33 years after she went missing.

Unfortunately the book did not live up to the premise. The writing is appalling. At first I thought something had maybe been lost in translation, but I don't think everything can be blamed on the translator.

There is no depth to any of the characters. You should really be shocked that a 15 year old girl has been brutally murdered and her body lost for 33 years, but because you know nothing about the girl except, 'she likes dancing on the beach and feeding seagulls', you really don't care one jot.

The dialogue is childish in the extreme. The scenes with Marcus' mother are nothing short of embarrassing and if they are meant as a joke; fail miserably.

There is a character who has been badly disfigured and instead of telling the reader that he has a speech impediment and allowing the reader to use his imagination, the author writes his speeches throughout the book phonetically. It is cringeworthy. I could not read them. Having to skim over them all just to be able to get the gist of what he was saying.

Marcus decides to investigate the murder himself, so he can clear Harry's name. The police very kindly let him get on with it. Giving him access to all kinds of evidence and in the end they join his investigation.

There are so many twists in the book that when you get to the final one you really have lost the will to live and just want the book to end.

How to sum up this book?
I did manage to finish it. Although very glad when I did. I am mystified as to how it has managed to win awards. If the author has played it for laughs then he has seriously misjudged it. The only time I laughed was on the last writers' tip, given to Marcus by Harry. It said 'a good book is a book you are sorry to finish, and that really did make me laugh.

It does have the makings of a good story and he does keep it moving although there is some repetitiveness. If you can excuse the bad writing and dialogue you may well enjoy it. It could be a good book club choice, it would certainly provoke discussion.
**
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About Harry Que-BORE, 9 July 2014
Beyond disappointing, it's a crime it was ever written. I bought this much-hyped book after reading a review on a site I normally trust but, oh dear. It sounded so good, but if you want to read abysmal writing with the world's most annoying characters, this is the one for you!

There is nothing and no one to like in this sorry tale - is it just me or were all the characters as dumb as a box of rocks? I'm surprised Gahalowood managed to find his way home, let alone solve anything remotely resembling a crime. It took me so long to wade through the tedious story that by the end I couldn't care less who killed Nola. In fact, I can't even be bothered to write another word about it, my review title says it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Girl, Gone, 26 Jun. 2015
A bit like having a bunch of city-folk descending on your quiet Cotswolds village with their braying laughter, foreign cigarettes and pastel polo shirts, Joel Dicker’s debt novel The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is showing literary types the delights of crime fiction in a manner due to irritate those of us who reside here quite merrily already.

A seemingly-perfect New Hampshire town – friendly police, diner that gives credit, volunteer librarian – with darkness teeming below the surface is rather more the purview of Linwood Barclay and his ilk than anyone usually discussed on Radio 4 (I mean, they don’t even play music; that means they must be serious). For all the accolades being poured upon this, it’s little more than a potboiler with 300 pages of context tagged on the front (I’d love to know what someone would make of this by just starting at the beginning of Part 2 – I get the impression it would still make sense, and be a better book for being so much faster). Not so much Harlan Coben as Harlan Slowburn.

However, when you do eventually get to the plot it is very well-constructed in places and has some rather fabulous revelations and reversals in the final stretch. The characters are distinct enough and their various overlapping plots clear enough that it’s easy to keep everything straight for 600+ pages, but if you’ve read any of this kind of thing before (and you probably have) it’s not going to distinguish itself in your memory a few weeks after you’re done. I found it an astonishingly easy read, too, and have a feeling that some of the credit for that should go to Sam Taylor and his keen translator’s eye and ear for speech patterns and simple phrasing.

It brought to mind two wildly contrasting books: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl for the not-really-deserved-because-we’ve-seen-most-of-this-before eulogising, and Val McDermid’s wonderful A Place of Execution for its 'writer discovers more than intended' framing. In fact, if you’re one of those tourists descending upon my village, you should check out that McDermid. And thank-you for your custom that helps out local businesses. But keep your voices down, hey?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story that belies its length - highly readable... and unguessable!, 24 Jun. 2015
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Review of an audiobook version.

I wouldn't have noticed this but for the Richard and Judy list, and I was glad I gave this a go. Even on audiobook (20+ discs) I found this easy to listen to and got caught up in the intrigue and central mystery.

Three decades ago, Nola went missing. Now she's been found, dug up in a famous author's garden, with an original manuscript of his masterpiece buried with her. Harry Quebert, the author, who was in love with Nola in 1975l though twenty years her senior, is the only suspect.

And so begins a media frenzy. At the centre of which is Marcus Goldman who soon appears to be our main character, and whose story rivals Harry's own - a famous writer himself now, hailed for his debut he is stuck on what to write next. We discover that his second book, all about precisely this situation, is destined to be an even bigger seller. So with the knowledge that Marcus is going to write about Harry and Nola's murder, we travel with him to both his 'present' as he tries to investigate (with some very reluctant police assistance) as well as to his past, as we learn how he first met Harry.

Several plots in one contend for supremacy, but even on audiobook I found it fairly simple to follow, which surprised me. I loved Marcus's backstory, and I felt just as I did when watching The Killing as every suspect I thought of, I ended up discounting. The solution was one I couldn't have guessed - bet you can't either, and there were a few twists that I was pretty impressed by - didn't see THAT coming!!

Twisty, large-scale murder, mystery and love stories rolled into one, it's quite an epic and manages to convey both writers' passion for books and writing, the humour of the publisher/agent's scrabblings and pleadings, the frustration and procrastination writers' block. I wasn't convinced by Harry's love for Nola, I just couldn't feel the attraction or see her as anything other than a pretty, naive adolescent - she isn't overly mature for her years, so it didn't feel quite right, but it was the only aspect I didn't like.

The audio version is well read by a male voice to represent a whole range of characters who are easily distinguishable, and he keeps the story moving nicely.

I really enjoyed the twisty story, the look at the lives of two very different writers, and at the book that says a lot about notoriety and bandwagon-jumping.

Great for book groups, and for readers who like a bit of a mystery to solve.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About "The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair", 17 May 2015
This book has had rave reviews all over Europe, and had been on my “must read” list for some time. I have to admit that I was not aware when I bought the book that it had been translated from the original French (?). When reading books not originally written in English, I often find that the translation is stilted and aims more for an exact word-for-word translation of the original rather than concentrating on the plot, story or contemporary English phrasing. After becoming accustomed to the translator’s style in this book, though (maybe a couple of pages), I found that the style was far more relaxed, nuanced and vernacular. There was the odd sentence that could have been better phrased, but I found that a rare occurrence.

Anyway, the book itself is fabulous. Characterisation is excellent, and whilst nobody comes out of the story 100% likeable, surely that is a reflection of real life rather than a failing on the author’s part. I also enjoyed the idea behind the book, of a writer struggling for inspiration and under pressure from his publisher becoming caught up in a life-changing event which leads him to a potentially best-selling book.

The plot moves along nicely – although this is a relatively long book for a novel, there is very little “filler”, the story grabbed me from the start and I found the further I became involved in the lives of Marcus Goldman (the supposed author of the book), Harry Quebert, and the other characters, the more they came alive and led to my wanting to know more.

I have given this review five stars, but in reality I don’t think this book quite meets that standard (it’s definitely worth more than 4 stars though - I would give it about 4 ¾ if I could). My main, in fact only, negative criticism relates to an event near the end – I won’t go into detail but one part of the compulsory twist is blatantly obvious from quite an early stage, and the second part does not sit well with the tone of the rest of the book.

Also, the ending is somewhat confused (rather than confusing) and did seem to be a slight let down given the quality of the rest of the novel. (OK, that’s two criticisms, but neither are enough to merit knocking off a star from the review).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars utterly bad. Words, 29 Sept. 2014
When this book was talked about on Radio 4's 'Front Row' I found the plot line intriguing and thought it sounded promising. I decided to read it in French, being bilingual, especially as some of the Amazon reviews talked about 'stilted language'. After all a lot depends on the translation.
All I can say is, I really felt sorry for the translator. This is unbelievably, utterly bad. Words, in fact, fail me. Puerile, repetitive, idiotic. I kept on till the end though and heaved a huge sigh of relief. Such a waste of time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thriller with a difference, 23 May 2015
This follows Marcus Goldman, a successful first author who is struggling to write his second book and his old college professor and fellow writer and friend Harry Quebert finds himself arrested for murder when the remains of missing 15 year old local girl, Nola Kellergan turn up in his garden. Marcus goes to Somerset to help his friend as he is determined that he is not guilty and ruffles feathers amongst the locals as he starts an investigation of his own. The book includes sections that are set in 1975 when Nola went missing and slowly reveal what happens as well as flashbacks to Marcus in his younger days when he was Marcus the Magnificent and the help that Harry gives him. There are a few quirks that I love about this book, the chapters count down from 31 and start with advice that Harry gives Marcus and have a blank page that slowly gets filled. I really liked this book overall, it is a very exciting thriller with many plot twists and everyone in Somerset is hiding a secret and could be a suspect at one time or another. This book is long, over 600 pages but I really liked that as it meant you really got involved with the characters and it allowed Dicker to develop them more into better characters. Dicker also writes some really beautiful descriptions that bring the book to life. Overall I really liked this book, it is different and exciting and I could not put it down.
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