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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by…
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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2012)

by Joël Dicker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,5871256,739 (3.71)49
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» See also 49 mentions

English (66)  French (16)  Spanish (11)  Italian (9)  Dutch (8)  Catalan (7)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (124)
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Synopsis/blurb.....

A crime story. A love story. More than 2 million copies sold worldwide.

And now a major 10-part MGM TV series starring Patrick Dempsey and Ben Schnetzer.

August 30, 1975. The day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.

That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with 15-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that made him a household name. Quebert is the only suspect.

Marcus Goldman - Quebert's most gifted protege - throws off his writer's block to clear his mentor's name. Solving the case and penning a new best seller soon merge into one. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of 'The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America'.

But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.
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My take....

I've had this one on the pile for a few years now - a Net Galley ARC from 2014 and a paperback copy I picked up cheap in the meantime. I think it would probably have stayed there a lot longer if I hadn't gotten wind of a ten part TV series currently airing.

It's a bit of a door stopper at over 600 pages, but I soon found myself sucked into the story and the events of Nola Kellergan's love affair with novelist Harry Quebert over thirty years ago, culminating in her disappearance and the recent discovery of her body on Quebert's property.

Plenty going on throughout as the story meanders back and forth through the timeline of 1975 and the build up to Nola going missing and 2008 when the body is uncovered, Quebert is arrested and friend Marcus Goldman tries to investigate to prove his innocence.

1975 .......an innocent, unfulfilled love affair or a sordid inappropriate relationship between a 15 year old girl and a 30-something man?, small town jealousies, a writer's life, a book to write, a difficult home life, complicated relationships, a mysterious past, secrets, poisonous letters, spying, a rich benefactor, a troubled, damaged chauffeur, feelings of guilt and a desire to make amends, a weak cop, a love-struck cop, a manipulating mother, a hen-pecked husband, a small town pastor.

All have their stories to tell and their memories to relate with the exception of those no longer with us.

2008 ...... friendship, jail time, an investigation, another book to be written, and a search for the truth.

Very complex, very enjoyable. I had several guesses at the truth to the disappearance - now murder - of Nola, one of which was spot on though the rest obviously weren't. There's a couple of other eye-opening revelations which I didn't see coming. One particular strand to a central character's behaviour I didn't quite buy into. It seemed a little bit convenient and not totally convincing, though it did explain a lot.

An interesting dissection of small town life when something goes horribly wrong. An interesting look at a writers' life. And a moral question posed - regarding the relationship which was at the centre of the book - how did I feel about Nola and Harry and their love? Judgmentally - not too comfortable with it. Not something I would want for my two girls.

It's hard to do justice to this complicated book. Enjoyable, entertaining, interesting, long, a few plot twists and turns, some skillful manipulation of the reader which had you liking a character one minute, and loathing them the next and vice versa.

Definitely an author I would read again in the future, which for me is a benchmark of whether something has worked out well for me or not.

Recommended reading - or conversely just watch the TV adaptation which after 8 out of 10 episodes is proving fairly faithful.

4 from 5

Dicker's second book The Baltimore Boys sits on the pile, though my son has pinched it at the minute.

Read in October, 2018
Published - 2014
Page count - 640
Source - owned copy plus a Net Galley review copy
Format - paperback

https://col2910.blogspot.com/2018/10/joel-dicker-truth-about-harry-quebert.html ( )
  col2910 | Oct 30, 2018 |
I received this book as part of the firstreads giveaway.

A fantastic multi layered book which simultaneously reads like a whodunnit and as a guide to great writing.

Joel Dicker's French novel translated into English is a delightful read. Marcus Goldman a one off literary sensation is struggling to write his second bestseller. He turns to his mentor Harry Quebert for help but turns out Quebert is in trouble after a girl's body, who went missing 33 years ago, is found on his property, with a manuscript of Harry's one and only bestseller.

Goldman decides to come to his mentor's aid and starts digging around. Meanwhile, he is under pressure from his publisher keen to cash in on the publicity and persuades him to write a book about the scandal.

As Goldman digs into the past, it paves way for his own bestseller, a book which will define him and change his relationship between him and his master forever.

The truth about Harry....works at many levels. At one level it is about the mystery of the murdered girl. But it is also about the relationship between a mentor and a protege, a guide to writing a good book, about a girl called Nola and people around her who are in one way or another connected to her disappearance, 33 years ago. Dicker links these facets and blends them quite seamlessly into his novel.

Of course, the translation by Sam Taylor is quite good, a major plus since the book is like a tome at over 600 pages. The length of the novel can be a deterrent for it is some time before the story actually takes off. The first 150 pages really took some perseverance to stick with. But after 350 pages or so, and I found myself making excuses to get to bed early to catch up with the story with its many twists and turns.

Whats works for the novel:


Great story, plot and characters

Excellent narrative

Neatly outlined tips to writing a great book and then illustrating it through the plot


What doesn't:

The length of the book. The sequence of events can be condensed a bit to make it a slicker plot.


One of the best books I have read through goodreads.
A cracking read, a marvellous story. ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
Marcus Goldman has made a huge splash with his first novel, but now he’s stuck with writer’s block and an increasing sense of desperation. So he goes to a small New Hampshire town to seek the advice of his mentor, renowned author Harry Quebert. Before he can settle in, however, the body of Nola Kellergan, a 15-year-old girl who has been missing since 1975, is discovered on Quebert’s property, and after Quebert is charged with her murder, Marcus is drawn to investigate to try to clear his name…. This novel was a huge success in France, winning all sorts of literary prizes, and it’s easy to see why: it is both a mystery novel with many shifting pieces and a novel about writing, about how one becomes a writer and about the effects of fame and infamy on one’s work. I wondered how a French novelist could write so accurately about American culture in a small New England town, but it turns out that Mr. Dicker spent his childhood summers there, so he knows whereof he writes. And did I mention that the novel is, in parts, absolutely hilarious? Very highly recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Aug 27, 2018 |
Spellbinding, but towards the end too many twists and turns to be credible, gives it an artificial feeling. ( )
  jmhdassen | Jul 25, 2018 |
Well....I wasn't really sure how I wanted to rate this book. I really enjoyed the story and it kept me hooked so that I wanted to read on; to find out what actually happened that day. However, I have to say that the writing style was very off putting. Every single character in this book had no depth, no dimension to them; they were caricatures and stereotypes. It was beyond annoying. Much of the plot line and how the main character gathered his information was so implausible it made me shake my head in wonder; but yet I still found the story entertaining. ( )
  LindaWeeks | May 14, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dicker, Joëlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durán Romero, Juan Carlossecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vega, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary 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.… (more)

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