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Thy Neighbor: A Novel

2.73  ·  Rating details ·  200 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
From the New York Times best-selling author comes a first novel as spellbinding as her acclaimed nonfiction.

At 34, Nick Walsh is a broken, deeply cynical man. Since the violent deaths of his parents 13 years earlier, he has been living alone in his childhood home in the suburban Midwest, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. A measure of solace is provi
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published August 2nd 2012 by Penguin Audio
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Apr 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
4 stars for the first half of the book (I really liked it), and 2 stars for the second half (meh). Rounded to 3.

This is a dark book with pretty graphic descriptions of child abuse.

Vincent is very clever and I quite like her writing. This book is one of those darkly comic takes on suburbia, where everyone is a monster in disguise.

For me, though, it went on about 50 pages too long, and by the end, the unrelenting evil got a bit overbearing (realistic or not), and I completely detested the charact
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-rc
I've had this book for 3 years...and it's taken me 3 years to read it. I'm a big fan of Norah Vincent's non-fiction writing, but her foray into fiction has left me cold. Her struggle to get inside the head of a main to write the main character shows through and made him detestable and offensive. This is one of the few times that I really considered abandoning a book and I can honestly say that the only reason I stuck with it is so that I wouldn't try and force myself to finish it again at a late ...more
This is a difficult book to review, mainly because I’m not completely sure how I feel about it yet. It’s one of those books which sinks its teeth in and makes more sense the longer it marinates in the reader.
There are some really good moments, many fascinating sentences, the kind that make you go “wow, I’ve never thought of that in that particular manner”. It is definitely a literary book, with lots of internal monologues. For a lot of the book, these are witty and make the reading very enjoyab
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook-net-galley
Never mind that the main character is a total douchebag...and that he spends most of his time spying on his neighbors, with High Tech equipment he bullied some poor soul to install...and he has Issues with his dead parents (don't we all)

Nasty characters don't bother me......when they can't advance their own pathetic story, that is a crime!

I'm not half way through this Net's about to expire...and I still have no idea of this book's STORY

That pisses me off....


Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had to force myself to finish this one, and I hate to say that because I can tell a lot of work went into it. Actually, it seemed like almost too much work went into it, as I found the writing style to be a little too "windy", like there was the intent to impress, and it ended up falling flat.

Maybe it's me, but I didn't like any of the characters in this book, and I kept hoping for at least one who would capture my interest. As for the hook, the "where is Robin?" plot, my interest was basical
Naomi Blackburn
Jul 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book difficult on multiple levels. First, I thought this book was written in a detached manner. I found I could never completely connect to any of the characters which didn't allow me to warm up to the book in general. Second, the book was extremely gratuitous in graphic language and scenes. Granted this is very important to the storyline and the character of Nick, but the constant reference beat me down and almost came across that it was much more of a shock factor. Although I did ...more
One star for effort. One star for originality.
I wanted to like this book. I thought it bold for the writer, a woman, to choose such an obviously male character and write in such a distinct tone with no undercurrent of female. Or feminine.
But mostly what I thought as I labored through each over-written sentence is There Is Only One Holden Caulfield and Only One Salinger. What makes great books, for me, is not the flashy use of words but the lack of them. Hard to do. It's not achieved here.
Kirsten McKenzie
I couldn't finish this book.
I've given it two stars purely for the way the main character and his buddy have been described. Truly awful characters. So kudos to the author for portraying them so imaginatively. I got to page 40, the start of chapter 5, and decided that life was too short to carry on with reading it. I've no idea what's going on, I have no inkling what is going to happen. And I just don't care. Sorry I can't be more generous with my review or my stars.
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A smart, gritty read. I love the way she describes little things that people do when they're just talking to other people...running their fingers around the buttons on a remote control or picking grass and twining it while sitting outside. Voyeuristic train wreck page turner.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to know someone this bitter, this wrapped up in all the wrongs done unto him, this tragic. It was strange to read about a character so similar, even though the circumstances are WAY WAY different. Some of the writing was a wee dramatic but overall, I really enjoyed this.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how I feel about this book. It had me hooked at some parts and completely confused at others. The characters just weren't consistant.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Try to sum up this book. Go ahead and just try.

A guy whose parents died in a murder-suicide sits in his house, spying on his neighbors, and comes to discover that he is being watched? That's certainly part of it. A man learns to come to terms with his dark past and discover that the gene pool does not have to dictate who he becomes? Sort of. Sometimes everyone in a family can love the same person? Yes, in a way, but ...

Let's start with the basics. Nick Walsh festers, whether alone in his home, s
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review, audiobook
I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.

Thy Neighbor is gritty and dark; not for the faint of heart.

Nick Walsh is seriously messed up. I suppose it is hard to blame him when his upbringing, or lack of it, was so bad. His highly intelligent mother tried to stimulate Nick’s mind as a child, but he simply wasn’t intellectually gifted like his mother. She ended up drown
Grief does funny things to people. For Nick Walsh in Norah Vincent’s debut fictional novel Thy Neighbor, grief is the excuse he uses in order to explain his excessive drinking and drug use. For the past thirteen years, Nick drinks himself into a memory-blanking stupor in order to ease his pain and confusion at the sudden and violent murder/suicide of his parents. When he is not doing that, or sleeping off the effects of the alcohol, he is busy spying on his neighbors, taking a perverse glee at t ...more
Thy Neighbor is not something I would have picked out on my own. I happened to win a copy and decided to read it. Maybe it would surprise me? Well, it did. I was ready to hate it based on the first chapter, but once I settled into Nick's life, I was hooked. He is a severely screwed up person, and there's a lot of severely screwed up things happening around him. Thirteen years ago, his parents died in a murder/suicide. Also around that time, a neighbor girl went missing and hasn't been heard from ...more
Katie Kenig
It took me months to get through this book. I got up into the 140's and then kept finding better things to read. I finally powered through the ending by bringing it on vacation with me, where I wasn't tempted by all the other good stuff to read at home. And really? I'm glad I did.

Nick is a depressed alcoholic. He's living in the home he grew up in, where a few years back, his father shot his mother and then himself. His only friend is a dysfunctional rich kid/bigot/pervert who is likely only his
Author: Norah Vincent
Published By: Viking Adult
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 4
Blog For: GMTA

"Thy Neighbor" by Norah Vincent was some read from the start to the finish. There is a lot to absorb in this read from Nick Walsh. I found him truly a sad person...why? Well apart from the fact that he was jobless, his parents had died in a apparent murder-suicide at home....with him now spying on his neighbors with via spy cameras that he installed in their homes...only to
Lisa B.
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
My Thoughts

When we first meet Nick, he is one crazy dude. Crazy as in, he doesn’t have both oars in the water. Or, both oars are in the water but they’re on the same side of the boat. Or, my personal favorite, he has both oars in the water but no boat! Get my drift? We learn very early in the story that when Nick was twenty-one, his Dad shot his Mom, and then turned the gun on himself. Nick had no idea why this happened and has spent the thirteen years since wondering what events took place the
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author: Norah Vincent
Title: Thy Neighbor
Description: Nick lives a wasted life alone in his childhood home, spending most of his days sleeping and most of his nights drunk and high. Thirteen years before, his father shot his mother, then committed suicide, and that was pretty much it for Nick. When he can think, he spends his time with Monica, a girl with no last name, past, or occupation, or he spies on his neighbors.
Review source: netgalley
Plot: Somehow, things seem to be revealing more about
Jo Barton
This is a difficult book to enjoy as the main protagonist Nick Walsh is not a likeable character. He is cynical and disillusioned and deeply flawed. He is truly overwhelmed by the grief he feels for the loss of his parents, and yet underneath the facade is a vulnerability which at times cuts through his tactless and often blundering behaviour.
This is Norah Vincent’s debut novel, undeniably there are some flashes of brilliance, but there is also a lot to disturb the mind, and make the reader just
Aaron Cooley
Unable to understand why his Father killed his Mother, then took his own life, Nick begins installing hidden cameras in his neighbors' homes, voyeurism that only inspires more questions than answers ... especially about himself. Written by a seasoned (and often controversial) journalist, Norah Vincent's fiction debut THY NEIGHBOR is a wonderful showcase of her considerable skill with prose. Unfortunately, as a story, it often meanders off course and struggles to keep our interest, is stocked wit ...more
Linda Fast
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
When I first started to read Thy Neighbour I thought to myself that this was just a trashy creepy novel. The farther I read I began to feel there was more to the book and I did not want to put it down.
Nick Walsh who tries to forget his past as well as his parents death by the means of drugs and alcohol is just sinking lower and lower. As he tries to understand his parents death he starts to spy on his neighbours as if there may be a clue beyond his home. He becomes involved with Monica, a woman
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know, really, how to rate/review this book. It was kind of like a piece of swiss cheese. Some areas were really dense and communicated the darkness of Nick's life(style) extremely well and led me to ruminate on a meaningful turn of phrase; others were devoid of any merit that could have been had. Insightfulness sometimes bordered on navel-gazing. The scene near the end with Bloom, Nick and Gruber in the yard with our "anti-heroine" turned me off. Who waxes philosophical at a time like th ...more
Donna Parker
Is there a star rating that says I liked it a lot, but found it disturbing although not shocking, but I'm kinda sorry I read it, but glad I read it and wow, that is a mental bang? No, well, maybe there should be. I won this from the Goodreads First Reads program and although on one level I'm pleased, it was a cool read, it was also messed up. The storytelling has great flow, the characters riveting, deeply flawed and show how humans can be so changed from events both within and outside their con ...more
Randy Briggs
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was creepy and deeply uncomfortable, but gripping and suspenseful nonetheless. Nick Walsh is the only survivor of the murder/suicide of his parents. Thirteen years later he deals with his wounds by spying on his neighbors. Gradually he becomes aware that he, in fact, is the one being stalked as the past returns for retribution. I had a lot of trouble getting into this book initially, but then it grabbed hold and didn't let go until the very end. Some of the subject matter was deeply d
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even sure how ot classify this one.. it's a lot more than I expected that's for dang sure. There were some moments I busted a gut laughing - which is SO RARE for me! So I loved that although the things I found hilarious were quite gross and definitely not recommended for younger readers.. I have a twisted sense of humor though that can be quite dark.. :D

This book was deeper than I expected, honestly I was expecting a pretty straight forward mystery/thriller which is NOT Thy Neighbor at
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although many people many be turned off by this book's misanthropic, twisted point of view, that's what really appealed to me most. Narrator Nick has an interesting point of view of life, that most books don't acknowledge. It started off a bit slow, but started to really pick up near the end. The climax is more towards the end when there is an interesting twist. It's not one of my favorites, but it's a good read.
Thomas S
Tonight's choice in my "pick a few books at random from the new releases section." I have been having pretty good luck so far. The title screams: "Trash!" but the description is somewhat intriguing. We'll see....

Update: Wow...tough book to describe, and tough to rate. Very, very dark at times but a plotline that absolutely sucks you in at some point. I guess this would be decribed as a psychological thriller??
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not really sure how I feel about this one....on one hand it is one man's search of self-discovery after his parents' murder-suicide, on the other hand it smacks of shameless self absorbtion. I really didn't like ANY of the characters, which makes it a tough read for me. That being said, I didn't want to put it down. However, the ending for me was blah.
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Vincent was a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies from its 2001 inception to 2003. She has also had columns at, The Advocate, the Los Angeles Times, and the Village Voice. Her essays, columns and reviews have also appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Washington Post and many more regional newspapers around the country.

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