A thriller with a twist? Herman Koch knows how to surprise his readers.
Get ready to have your mind blown away by the unforgettable quotes, intriguing characters and completely unpredictable and unforgettable ending!
WHAT I LIKED / FOUND INTERESTING:
- The MYSTERY! As everyone should be aware by now, my first love was mystery novels, thrillers, crime based books. Right at the beginning of this story there was a first person narration and the first thought that crossed my mind was: «I need to know who it is!»
- Later on, we see the past events, the unsolved murder (or was it really a murder?). We don’t know anything for sure. We are given a limited amount of information and the rest is only our guesses! That is what I love so much about mysteries! It’s the possibility of trying to solve them as you keep reading the book, as you get closer to the answer with every flip of the page.
- The DEPTH OF CHARACTER and not just one! We met so many different people in the book – Mr. M, The Teacher, Herman, Laura, their close circle of friends. They are all different. They all portray different personalities. It is truly a great character-driven novel. One of the best I’ve read in many years.
- The SWITCH BETWEEN 1ST AND 3RD PERSON. Yes! Some chapters are written from the first person perspective, others from third. It is slightly confusing in the beginning but you get used to it fairly quickly and it doesn’t bother you anymore, and actually helps distinguish between different characters whose point of view we are reading.
- The NAMELESS CHARACTERS. Honestly, I’ve never seen a book before where some of the characters would not have names. It’s just N, Q, K, M and so on. It was a very interesting concept that helps us, readers, not to get distracted by side characters. However, I think that name of the character plays a great role in the personality description and helps our imagination.
- The MORE SERIOUS TOPICS AND CHARACTERS’ TAKE ON THEM, for example: nazi, war, sexism, and so on. Great way to use very controversial topics to give more depth to the characters.
WHAT I DISLIKED:
- Very VERY SLOW PACED. There were moments when all I wanted to do was skipping few pages and see if something would happen further ahead. I actually spoke to a few friends that read books by Herman Koch before, all of them pointed out the slow development of the main plot in his books. It wasn’t totally unpleasant and the great writing compensated for the lack of speed, but I just feel that the book could have been a bit shorter and concise.
- TOO MUCH MONOLOGUE. Some ideas were repeated over and over again. Some monologues were pages and pages AND PAGES long. It wouldn’t hurt to make them a tiny bit shorter. Again, concise and Short! that’s my motto.
- The NON RELATABLE CHARACTERS and there were quite a lot of them. I disliked Mr. M and his pretentiousness. I disliked Herman and his cruelty. I disliked Laura and her vanity. I disliked The Teacher and his “bad habits”. Unfortunately, there was no character I liked or sympathized with at all.
Writing down all of my thought I realised that there were more things I liked or found interesting than disliked, however it was only a 2 and a half / 3 star read for me.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for honest review and I did find it interesting in it’s own way. If you like a little bit slower paced novels you might love it more than I did. But it was definitely not a waste of time and I am actually glad that I gave it a shot. By the way, the ENDING! OMG THE ENDING!
Have you read this book? Did you like it?? Or are you interested in reading it? Let me know in the comments down below.