I’m going to skip the big analysis and review The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair as if we were talking on the deck over a cup of coffee.
What made you read it?It was about writers who have phenomenal success. And greedy unprincipled publishers. Greedy agents. Duh. I’m a writer.
Is that the plot?
It was the “shadow plot.” An old successful writer/professor mentors a student on how to be a real writer. Boxing is involved. You’ve got to be willing to get beat up.
That doesn’t sound compelling.
The rest of the world loves this book for the multi-faceted mystery factor: solving an old murder to free an innocent party. In France it won three literary prizes and it’s an international best seller and the kid (the author) was only twenty-eight when he wrote it.
So it was a literary book?
Not at all. It was breathtakingly not well written but there was murder in it and a small town and a lot of local people who were trying (unrealistically) to get something from the two famous writers who came to their town. And a very crazy pastor. It also had a great seaside New England house and a very annoying young girl who happened to be beautiful.
So it was compelling?
Exactly. Unexpected twists and turns right to the end. People in small towns can be pretty crazy. Everyone thinks “Small town = good.” I say, “Small town = crazy times a hundred.”
Would you recommend it?
Only as a summer beach read. You must read it in the summer and preferably at the beach.