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Going Wrong (1990)

by Ruth Rendell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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470852,562 (3.23)10
Fiction. Suspense. HTML:

From a New York Timesâ??bestselling author: A chilling psychological thriller about one man's murderous obsession with his childhood sweetheart.

Growing up in the roughest part of London, Guy Curran never imagined he would fall in love with a rich girl. But from the moment he meets Leonora Chisholm, he knows it's their destiny to be together. They have a short, passionate teenage flingâ??over almost before it begins. Leonora moves on, but Guy never will. His love for her is dangerous, and it will destroy them both.

Over the next ten years, Guy becomes a millionaire, selling hard drugs and bad art to the jet set of Western Europe. He and Leonora remain friends, sharing weekly lunchesâ??until the day he learns she's fallen in love with someone else. Seized by murderous jealousy, Guy is about to embark on a mad quest to claim the woman he desiresâ??or die trying.

"Rendell is a master of depicting the long, slow slide into madness" and Going Wrong shows her brilliant ability to walk the line between elegance and terror (Publishers Weekly)
… (more)

  1. 00
    This Sweet Sickness by Patricia Highsmith (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: A book with a similar storyline and a similarly deluded protagonist.
  2. 01
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Rendell tells a modern tale of obsessive love similar to Bronte's classic.
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» See also 10 mentions

English (6)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This book seemed so linear! Rendell has a real knack for building characters, small details compounding into big ones like snowflakes gathering together to make a massive snowball. Guy, alcoholic, obsessed with his first love, is so graspable. Yet, we only see the world through his eyes and flickers show us that there is so much more. Who are his friends and enemies? Will he be able to control his temper? Until de very end the reader is in suspense wondering when and how the situation will be resolved.
It's a master psychological thriller with a wonderful twist at the end. This is Rendell at her finest. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Mar 25, 2021 |
Los personajes de Rendell son tan psicopátas como puede serse y esta novela no es la excepción.

El desarrollo de la trama, sin embargo, me decepcionĂł un poco. ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
Surprisingly unsubtle. After the first few chapters of all-out Guy monologues, I started looking for some from another POV. There weren’t any. It’s all obsession, all warped viewpoint, all delusion, all the time. And it is a pretty hard go in spots. How many times can you absorb how Guy thinks a proper woman should dress, behave or have interest in? How many times do we have to see him dismiss Leonora as a person, reducing her to an object that can be manipulated and controlled? How many times do we have to see him pick another person to blame for why Leonora won’t throw herself into his arms for the fade out? It’s really trying and I admit to skimming in the middle of the book – especially when it was all ruminations on clothing and booze in between desperate phone calls trying to find Leonora. If it was dialed down or diluted with other perspectives, I think it might have been more effective, but it was a fire hose effect and way over the top. In the end I had zero sympathy for the endlessly idiotic Leonora and I didn’t buy her sly manipulation that is revealed in the end. There’s absolutely nothing to telegraph that kind of savvy scheming on her part. That she might have been playing a game out of fear is plausible, but it was too oblique. If there had been some chapters from her perspective, there would have been a cat-and-mouse element that would have been fun, but instead she’s a cipher to be pitied although I didn’t; she was too dumb and got what she deserved. Plus there was the sword fight so how the hell can I take the drama seriously with something like that? Oy. ( )
  Bookmarque | Aug 26, 2014 |
No one writes about obsession and addiction better than Ruth Rendell. ( )
  KathrynCottam | Sep 18, 2013 |
Guy Curran has loved Leonora Chisholm for as long as he’s known her. And once she loved him too. But as they’ve gotten older, Leonora becomes increasingly distant and more reluctant to spend any meaningful time with Guy.

To Guy, this just proves that her family and friends have far too much influence over her. Guy is now a legitimate (and wealthy) businessman but fears that his past as a successful drug dealer has come back to haunt him; and he wonders which of Leonora’s friends or family members has turned her against him – and therefore which one he should direct the hitman towards.

Going Wrong is Guy’s story, in all it’s obsessive, psychotic and delusional detail. I found this book a bit of a slog as we only get Guy’s twisted point of view. We can connect the dots to determine Leonora’s perspective, but I wanted it in more detail. And I wanted something to break up Guy’s self-deceptive, egotistical semi-rant that asserts that everyone is out to get him. This wears thin very quickly, but continues for close to 200 pages.

The final 50 pages were what (to some extent) saved Going Wrong for me. Matters finally come to a head, and some welcome depth is added to the characterisations of both Leonora and Guy. There are strong hints that Leonora is not quite the long-suffering darling she is previously portrayed as, and Guy meanwhile, finally has some moments of both sanity and clarity enabling him to reach some conclusions regarding his own life. But will his epiphany come too late? ( )
  SouthernKiwi | Feb 13, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Rendellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Odom, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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She always had lunch with him on Saturdays.
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Fiction. Suspense. HTML:

From a New York Timesâ??bestselling author: A chilling psychological thriller about one man's murderous obsession with his childhood sweetheart.

Growing up in the roughest part of London, Guy Curran never imagined he would fall in love with a rich girl. But from the moment he meets Leonora Chisholm, he knows it's their destiny to be together. They have a short, passionate teenage flingâ??over almost before it begins. Leonora moves on, but Guy never will. His love for her is dangerous, and it will destroy them both.

Over the next ten years, Guy becomes a millionaire, selling hard drugs and bad art to the jet set of Western Europe. He and Leonora remain friends, sharing weekly lunchesâ??until the day he learns she's fallen in love with someone else. Seized by murderous jealousy, Guy is about to embark on a mad quest to claim the woman he desiresâ??or die trying.

"Rendell is a master of depicting the long, slow slide into madness" and Going Wrong shows her brilliant ability to walk the line between elegance and terror (Publishers Weekly)

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