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La vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert by…

La vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert (edition 2012)

by Joël Dicker

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5226119,378 (3.77)10
Title:La vérité sur l'Affaire Harry Quebert
Authors:Joël Dicker
Info:DE FALLOIS (2012), Broché, 670 pages
Collections:lecture 2012, Your library
Tags:lu2012, polar, USA, XXe siècle

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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker


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English (17)  French (13)  Spanish (9)  Dutch (7)  Italian (5)  Catalan (4)  Finnish (2)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
In 1975, fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan disappears. Thirty years later, her body is found buried in famous novelist Harry Quebert’s garden. While he admits he had an illicit affair with the young girl, he denies having anything to do with her death, and claims he has been waiting all these years for her to return. Marcus Goldman, a protégé of Harry’s who is currently suffering from writer’s block and badly in need of inspiration, is determined to solve the mystery of who killed Nola and clear his mentor’s name.

This is a very clever story about two books: The book Marcus is currently writing about Harry and the ongoing murder investigation, and a fictional best-seller Harry wrote 30 years ago that was a thinly disguised version of his secret affair with Nola.

Interestingly, the original novel was written in French by a Swiss author, but is set in the US – in a small town in New Hampshire. While there are a few awkward sentences and odd word choices from the translation, it was not disruptive to the flow of the story. There are lots of short sentences and some choppiness, but it reads fine, like a ‘bestseller’.

The plot is at times convoluted, there are lots of twists and turns, many characters, and an occasionally unreliable narrator, but in the end, a satisfying conclusion. The style of this novel is a little different than what I usually think of in a mystery, but nonetheless, I enjoyed it a lot. Despite the complexity, I had no trouble following the story, which was a concern when I decided to listen to the audiobook.

Audio Production:
The narration was performed by Pierce Cravens. This was my first experience with his narration and I was happy with his performance. With a large cast of characters to keep track of, he was able to create enough variation in voice and tone to keep me alert to changes in who was speaking.

While I found the listening level to be of average difficulty, I rated it intermediate to difficult because of the complexity. I wouldn’t recommend this as a choice for new listeners. Experienced listeners should be able to keep the books, plots and characters clear with a little extra attention.

I listened to much of this book while gardening and trimming hedges. Since gardening is second nature to me, I could devote my full attention to the story. This is the type of book that works well if one can listen in large chunks of time rather than short intervals. ( )
  UnderMyAppleTree | Jul 24, 2014 |
Marcus Goldman is a writer who studied under the tutelage of a world renowned, award-winning author, Harry Quebert. When he finds, after his huge first unexpected success, that at the age of 28 he can no longer seem to write and is faced with writer’s block, he is devastated. He suddenly remembers his old friend and mentor Harry Quebert, the man who made him believe in himself. He had pretty much abandoned him when he gained fame, but now, after a long absence in his life, he calls him and is graciously welcomed back and invited to stay at Harry’s bucolic home in New Hampshire until he regains his momentum.
The story travels in many directions. Marcus is given advice by Harry. He begins to box again with his old friend, teacher and surrogate father, as they used to do in his college days. Even so, he cannot relax and write. Ensconced in this perfect setting, there is still no inspiration. Badgered by his publisher with threats of a law suit, if he doesn’t produce a book by his deadline, he resigns himself to the fact that he is no longer a writer. While rudely and clandestinely searching through papers in Harry’s home, hoping to find the initial notes for his renowned book so he can understand how he should begin again, he finds out that, in 1975, at the age of 34, Harry had an illicit relationship with a fifteen year old girl, Nola Kellergan, for whom, when confronted, he professes a deep, and everlasting love and a plan to run away with her which was foiled when she was murdered. He has carried a torch for her ever since, and he confesses that the book he is remembered for, “The Origins of Evil”, was written for her. After this episode, Marcus returns home, to New York.
When Harry’s landscapers uncover human bones on his property, while planting Hydrangea bushes, he is arrested for Nola Kellergan’s murder. Marcus returns, stands by his side, giving up any effort to have any book ready for his publisher, although he is faced with legal action, and he begins an investigation to prove Harry’s innocence. This will lead, ultimately, to the book he needs to write, the book which will maintain his status as a sought after writer and which will reveal all the facts, some of which would have been better left hidden. The stigma of the relationship with an underage girl will stain Harry’s reputation irreparably, even if he is innocent.
Hypocrisy, secrecy, lies, deception, emotional conflict, warnings to leave, threats against his life, psychological twists and turns will face him as he conducts his inquiry. On almost every page, in an effort to get to the bottom of this mystery, the reader will be faced with intrigue. The ending will be a total surprise in its many facets and the reader will be caught in the grip of this engaging crime novel filled with advice for writers, advice for the lovelorn and the lonely, and an exploration of the “origin of evil” in all of its costumes, mental and physical. There is no end to the artifice and cover-ups of those involved in this double murder mystery. Nothing is as it seems.
The book works backwards as the chapters descend in order, instead of ascending as the do in a normal pattern because the book begins in 2008 and has to solve a crime committed 33 years before. As it works backward, the characters will be well developed and their behavior carefully examined. Sometimes minor characters will assume unexpected importance. There will be a bit of humor like those times when mothers try and organize the lives of their children, and there will be moments of shock and surprise. The psychology of behavior will be a key point in the discoveries made.
I wonder if anyone will guess the ending, but I truly doubt it, so please, do yourselves a favor, don’t cheat, don’t read the last pages first, sit back and relax and enjoy a page turner of a novel with many twists and turns that will take you on a thought-provoking trip as the murders are investigated. The reader will be left wondering about what man is capable of when fear is governing behavior, when terrible mistakes are made and accidents happen that cannot be reversed, when facts are misunderstood, and misdirected intentionally, They will discover that even those that are not truly evil can commit a crime of passion, that seemingly honest, moral people will allow innocent people to suffer for their sins, that hypocrisy rules over honor, and that conclusions are drawn from circumstantial evidence, jumped to without investigating all the facts once madness and mayhem enter the picture.
The drawback of the book is that although it is engaging, it is not entirely credible at times. When the book ends, the reader may sit back and ponder all of the twists and turns and wonder about the conspiracy that developed to protect those who were guilty. The reader will have to go back over the book, will have to recreate the scenes and revisit each character before it will all fall into place. Take this book on vacation, on an airplane, into the tub for a relaxing bath, but don’t take it too seriously!
Although not all critics liked this book, I found it a fast-paced thriller even if it isn’t literature! If you are looking for rocket science, don’t read it, if you are looking for a good mystery that will capture you from page one, even in its hokeyness, then enjoy the read. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Jul 23, 2014 |
Wow, just... wow. It's very rare for me to swallow an entire 600+ page book in a weekend, but I just couldn't put this one down. This is a book about writers and writing, mentors and students, life lessons and demons of the past... and a fictional cold case murder mystery in a small New Hampshire town. Shortly after the main character visits his old mentor, Harry Quebert (pronounced like Colbert), to cure a case of dreaded writer's block, the remains of a 15-yr-old girl gone missing several decades ago is discovered on his property. Our writer now has his inspiration! But as the book proceeds it tests its characters' relationships, their stories, and multiple versions of what really happened August 30, 1975.

This book was satisfying on multiple levels. It was a mystery that had me constantly thinking I knew the solution... before throwing in a twist that changes everything. There's a lot of books out there that make plot twists ridiculous or predictable but Harry Quebert kept me engaged and on my toes. The pacing was interesting too. I find most books labelled as "fast-paced" to be too frenetic - like commercials that blast high-pitched sounds and flashing lights in short bursts. This book kept me turning the pages, but there's downtime between discoveries and enough time to enjoy the setting and characters. Dicker's style was great - featuring a plucky main character whose dialogue had me laughing out loud every now and then. Some of the side characters felt like caricatures, but I didn't find it distracting. The parallel comparisons between the mystery plot and the process of writing enriched the story, even when they were clearly setting up the chapter to come. It was sort of like having a "reading" coach with you as you read - annotating the book within the book. It's hard to convey in a review unless you read the book and see the structure.

All in all I really loved this book and would highly recommend it. Great read! ( )
  ChristineParker | Jul 1, 2014 |
A little tedious and drawn out. ( )
  velopunk | Jun 30, 2014 |
A fun and funny read, and a great summer book. I'm surprised it's so controversial, since I think it's going to be a crowd-pleaser. I knew nothing about this at all, which surely helped me appreciate this on its own terms. After having slogged through a spate of grim, affectedly literary and intentionally portentous mysteries, I was thrilled to come across something suspenseful but entertaining.

It reminds me a little of Twin Peaks, both in its atmosphere and in the continual twists and turns of the plot. The crimes' solution is fairly obvious, but even so, the book takes you on a roller coaster to get to the end and serves up a few surprises along the way.

Read it if you are looking for entertainment and humor. Don't read it if you expect beautiful spooling sentences full of classical allusion, or a traditional mystery with a brilliant yet tragically flawed police detective. ( )
  Laura400 | Jun 16, 2014 |
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Sous ses airs de thriller a l'ame ricaine, La ve rite sur l'affaire Harry Quebert est une re flexion sur l'Ame rique, sur les travers de la socie te moderne, sur la litte rature, sur la justice et sur les me dias.

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