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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2012)

by Joël Dicker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Marcus Goldman (1)

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2,0841375,436 (3.68)53
Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country's most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer's block as his publisher's deadline looms. But Marcus's plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan.… (more)
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» See also 53 mentions

English (77)  French (17)  Spanish (11)  Italian (9)  Dutch (8)  Catalan (7)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
This book was ridiculous and annoying. It was trying so hard to be clever. I rolled my eyes so many times. Wait for all the "twists". Spot the plot holes! Get annoyed that all the women are only there to be tragic and/or tell the men how great they are.

However, it was easy to read and I wanted to know if it got better, so I finished it.

Not recommended. ( )
  KWharton | Sep 3, 2020 |
Sorry, but a 34-year-old "in love with" and in a relationship with a fifteen-year-old girl isn't romantic, it's disturbing and predatory. ( )
  gleipnir | Jun 20, 2020 |
The truth about Joel Dicker

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert

I've now read 40 pages of this ludicrously long book. I've been reading it in French. These are the truths.

(1) Assuming that it should have been published in the first place, it is nonetheless perhaps hundreds of pages too long. Every single notion is repeated ad nauseum. There is not one idea stated once that isn't repeated a dozen times. In a row. Just like that. The book should be much shorter. It's too long. It repeats things to the point of insult. Oh, let's go further than that. Its use of repetition adds injury to insult. I could keep repeating myself here in slightly different ways, but I hope you get the picture. Too. Offensively. Long. By far.

(2) Fabulously badly written. After going to see Hobbit 3, I wrote:

I had no idea that Tolkien was such a great writer. The line where the dwarf dude says to the kungfu-elf-chick ‘You make me feel so alive’. And where she says in a marvellously anguished way about love ‘It hurts so much’. That I could think up such lines.

The Truth about Harry is like that for 670 pages. So, yeah. If you thought that the dialogue in Hobbit 3 was pushing the boundaries of literature as we know it, then absolutely this book is for you.

(3) The book is B1 standard. Seriously. A 670 page novel has been written in French which is B1. Theoretically B1 can be challenging. Camus's The Outsider is supposedly B1, but I'm still finding it painful to read because it is sparing in its use of words and the ideas expressed by the words are not easy. The Truth about Harry, on the other hand, because it spells everything out over and over, leaves the reader in no doubt. Even a bad reader. Even, I imagine, the very worst reader in the entire world ever.

(4) I've had my suspicions about the literary taste of the French since discovering how much they like Eliot Perlman. But their admiration of Truth about Harry is way beyond a joke. It was awarded their highest literary prize. The mind boggles, I have to say. Does it reflect their ignorance of American literature (this book claims to be an American Novel in French, whatever that is), or the dire state of French literature. There isn't a good answer.

(5) And yet presumably many people like the book, it's a big seller, translated into many languages; apparently there is a film on the horizon. I can only assume that the secret is that Dicker has managed to make a book which is defined as being for adults, not children, but which is even simpler than a lot of YA adults rely on for their reading material. I'm guessing, I admit it. Whereas prior to this book, adults who couldn't cope with proper novels had to read YA, now there is something entirely new available to them. Extremely simplistic books marketed to adults, not children. How very interesting. At the same time, it won a French award in which school kids vote for the book they think is best, so although I don't think it is marketed to children, clearly they recognise their level when they see it.

rest here: https://frenchalone.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/the-truth-about-joel-dicker/ ( )
1 vote bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Adictivo hasta el final. ( )
  mirenbz | Jun 14, 2020 |
I just adored this novel. The fabulous storyline and writing, which was unique in many ways, showed a calm but formidable build up of the story, which makes the reader want to keep reading throughout the night. It also contained a building tension throughout the storyline. This novel literally kept me spell bound, with unbelievable twists and turns until the last pages, a remarkable set of characters, and a beautiful setting. I just really enjoyed it from start to end. I was also totally unable to DO anything else while listening to the audiobook version of this novel, like I usually am, that wasn't more difficult than a simple crochet stitch....it was completely beyond me. I HAD TO pay attention to every word.
And this novel is not just a crime story; it's a novel about life, love, and mistakes made. ('Learn to love your failures Markus, because it is the failures that will make you who you are. It is your failures that will give meaning to your victories'). It is also a novel about small town community living, boxing, running, and writing.
In this novel, I found that the author Dicker was able to write an extremely complex story. Whenever I thought the storyline was going a certain way, there was another twisty turn and it didn't. I loved the many clever plot twists, and by the end of the novel my mouth was hanging open a mite. Dicker was also able to make the many time layers in the storyline work perfectly together. The story was well balanced, and the numerous secrets were revealed at the perfect pace.
Not a single character in this novel was boring or the slightest bit banal. (Though I did come to detest one of the characters in the novel, who worked in the book publishing company that Markus had to deal with. What a stinker..!!) Every character had their secrets, and their hopes and desires. All of the characters were passionate about their beliefs, and I loved that they were not black or white. (The beliefs, not the characters). All of them had their strengths and weaknesses, in their own way.
Dicker also has an incredible talent to create beautiful sentences, through the translator used. I loved the way these words were used to place me firmly into the town, the setting, and all their lives. I am sincerely hoping that the next novel that Dicker wrote about the main character Markus, will be just as wonderful.
This novel also reminded me of John Irving's Garp, not only because of the setting in New Hampshire, but also because of the close, weird set of characters in the novel, that you grow to like.

It is, I suppose, interesting to see all of the controversy in the reviews here on GR, about this novel. I have seen rating anywhere from 1 star to 5 stars, which is ridiculous to me. I think -maybe- the readers could have given this novel more of a try than just the five chapters read, as I've seen on MANY reviews. What's with all the screaming, and belittling, or tearing it apart just because of the love story that it entails...? While this age difference, and the female's being under aged is a huge deal in the Real World, this is JUST A NOVEL, and not real life. Also, maybe people could see past their own firmly cemented views on this taboo subject, in order to see the beauty contained within this novel...? I don't know. I just found to many upset people in these reviews, condemning a subject that the novel talks about, instead of giving the author a chance.
Also, the author CLEARLY STATES in the novel that the love story between the 30 year old author, and the 15 year old girl, was UNCONSUMMATED. Which means that, no matter how much these two loved each other, they DID NOT sleep together. Harry Q. was a clearly confused fictional author, but he wasn't stupid....!!

So for me, this novel is at a firm 4.5 to 5 stars. I'm incredibly glad I've found a new author to read, and I hope he writes many more novels in,the future. And I am sorry I kept giving this novel a pass for so long...!
The audiobook was very well performed by Pierce Cravens, who was a pleasure to listen to. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dicker, Joëlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durán Romero, Juan CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vega, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Als meus pares
To my parents
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"Polizeizentrale! Sie möchten einen Notfall melden?"
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La vie est une longue chute. Le plus important est de savoir tomber. 

Un bon livre, Marcus, est un livre qu'on regrette d'avoir terminé.
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Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country's most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer's block as his publisher's deadline looms. But Marcus's plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan.

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Average: (3.68)
0.5 6
1 21
1.5 7
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