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The Fall Guy: A Novel by James Lasdun
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The Fall Guy: A Novel

by James Lasdun

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Fantastic writing, but I wasn't impressed by this book. The main character, Matthew, is obsessed with his cousin's wife, Chloe. He begins to suspect that she's having an affair, and follows her around town. As his mental instability is further revealed, he delves deeper into rationalizing his actions. I expected this book to be a lot more exciting than it was, given its description and the buildup from the person who recommended it. The first half of the book, though, meanders along with the day to day lives of Chloe, Charlie (her husband), and Matthew. I kept reading thinking that something crazy would happen soon. And it did, but then there was nothing. And finally, once there was more action, the book was over. I read this book fairly quickly, but only because I was expecting to find excitement around the corner. The writer is gifted, but I didn't care about any of the characters and at some points found myself hoping that Matthew would just stop telling us what he was thinking. I will read another book by James Lasdun, but not another one with these characters. ( )
  Bookseiffel | Feb 23, 2018 |
Nothing about this book made sense to me ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
When Matthew comes to stay with his wealthy cousin, Charlie, for the summer, all things appear idyllic. Matthew, Charlie, and Charlie’s wife, Chloe, laze around the pool, read, play games, and dine on amazing meals sourced from local ingredients (this seems to be very important).

Matthew tells us that he prides himself on being true to his feelings, to experiencing them and scrutinizing their origins. (This being self-aware comes from years of therapy.) So, it comes as no surprise that he’s in love with Charlie’s wife. While “accidentally” following Chloe one day, he discovers that she’s cheating. Matthew spends much of the rest of the book following Chloe and her lover, trying to figure out what his next move is, all the while making worse and ever more horrible choices surrounding his actions.

The book definitely kept me reading. You eventually realize that Matthew is a pretty unreliable narrator, and I wanted to find out what Matthew would ultimately do. The backstory between the cousins is intriguing and promises many big reveals.

Unfortunately, when the big moment comes – the one big reveal is less than breathtaking. A lot less.

And, I still need to know – what happened to Matthew’s father?!?

Read it? Let me know if you agree with my review in the comments below!

Rating: 60/100

Check out my other reviews at https://ouroborosfreelance.com/
( )
  ouroborosangel | Mar 31, 2017 |
Well, this was just a lot of fun. James Lasdun's newest book is a suspenseful novel that rushes along until it ends at just the right moment (so hard for authors to get this exactly right). The Fall Guy is Matthew, a chef trying to decide what to do with his life. His cousin Charlie has invited him to spend the summer with him and his wife at their vacation home in an affluent area of upstate New York. Matthew and Charlie have a long history together and Matthew also gets along well with Charlie's wife, Chloe. Sub-letting his apartment and moving into the guest house is a perfect way to give Matthew a financial break and time to think over what he wants to do with his life. The peaceful summer he'd pictured is altered when Matthew begins to suspect that Chloe is having an affair and his curiosity and concern begins to take an ominous turn, even as Charlie and Chloe seem to be losing their affection for him.

Told from only Matthew's point of view, The Fall Guy has an anxious and claustrophobic feel to it. The reader begins to suspect that how Matthew sees things may not be the way the others affected see things and the inability to step away from Matthew's brain adds to the tension as it becomes clearer and clearer that things are going very badly wrong.

James Lasdun may be known for his more literary work, but he knows how to craft a fast-paced and entertaining novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. ( )
1 vote RidgewayGirl | Jan 24, 2017 |
While I was reading through this short novel I thought I was being set up for an interesting ending. Would someone other than the murderer get blamed? Would the murderer be faced with an ethical dilemma ? Instead, the ending was a disappointment. ( )
  ghefferon | Dec 4, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393292320, Hardcover)

In this taut psychological thriller, a couple and their houseguest find themselves caught in a deadly web of secrets, obsession, and revenge.

It is summer, 2012. Charlie, a wealthy banker with an uneasy conscience, invites his troubled cousin Matthew to visit him and his wife in their idyllic mountaintop house. As the days grow hotter, the friendship between the three begins to reveal its fault lines, and with the arrival of a fourth character, the household finds itself suddenly in the grip of uncontrollable passions. As readers of James Lasdun’s acclaimed fiction can expect, The Fall Guy is a complex moral tale as well as a gripping suspense story, probing questions of guilt and betrayal with ruthless incisiveness. Who is the real victim here? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy? Darkly vivid, with an atmosphere of erotic danger, The Fall Guy is Lasdun’s most entertaining novel yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:02:40 -0400)

It is summer, 2012. Charlie, a wealthy banker with an uneasy conscience, invites his troubled cousin Matthew to visit him and his wife in their idyllic mountaintop house. As the days grow hotter, the friendship between the three begins to reveal its fault lines, and with the arrival of a fourth character, the household finds itself suddenly in the grip of uncontrollable passions. As readers of James Lasdun's acclaimed fiction can expect, The Fall Guy is a complex moral tale as well as a gripping suspense story, probing questions of guilt and betrayal with ruthless incisiveness. Who is the real victim here? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy?… (more)

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