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Marcus Goldman #1

La verdad sobre el caso Harry Quebert

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Quién mató a Nola Kellergan es la gran incógnita a desvelar en este thriller incomparable cuya experiencia de lectura escapa a cualquier intento de descripción. Intentémoslo: una gran novela policiaca y romántica a tres tiempos —1975, 1998 y 2008— acerca del asesinato de una joven de quince años en la pequeña ciudad de Aurora, en New Hampshire. En 2008, Marcus Goldman, un joven escritor, visita a su mentor —Harry Quebert, autor de una aclamada novela—, y descubre que éste tuvo una relación secreta con Nola Kellergan. Poco después, Harry es arrestado, acusado de asesinato, al encontrarse el cadáver de Nola enterrado en su jardín. Marcus comienza a investigar y a escribir un libro sobre el caso. Mientras intenta demostrar la inocencia de Harry, una trama de secretos sale a la luz. La verdad sólo llega al final de un largo, intrincado y apasionante recorrido.

672 pages, Paperback

First published September 19, 2012

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About the author

Joël Dicker

17 books6,809 followers
Joël Dicker was born in 1985 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he studied law. He spent childhood summers in New England, particularly in Stonington and Bar Harbor, Maine. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair won three French literary prizes, including the Grand Prix du Roman from the Académie Française, and was a finalist for the Prix Goncourt. Dicker lives in Geneva.

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5 stars
68,997 (46%)
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20,016 (13%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 14,625 reviews
Profile Image for Alienor.
Author 1 book87 followers
May 10, 2021

Spare yourselves; do not buy/read/LOOK AT this book. It was physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and never ever read modern books. What ON EARTH caused this book to receive such acclaim???

So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but it was emphatically not the worst thing about this book.

.... so in no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care

- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that also applies to the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been born only to fawn over/praise/massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? What is his substance??
He sounds just like prepubescent kids who want to be rock stars for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the CROWDS of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - mwahahaha!!! This might happen with A-list actors, maaaaybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much, but WRITERS?? Do we even know what writers look like???

Moving on - within the very first chapter, we learn he's all about his Italian shoes, expensive NY apartment and trophy girlfriend, while being a self-aggrandizing whiny lying cheating asshole - I can't believe there's a rule (Hallmark lesson on writing) at the end of the book about hooking readers in the first chapter - I suggest likeable characters!!

So a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer... God knows I love books but even I found this a bit indigestible.

- laughable secondary characters; we all know Hollywood movies that fall flat because they have 40 competing writers all working on the same script, and one of them has to shoehorn comic relief no matter what, so you end up with ridiculous formulaic poorly grafted-on one-liners - so here goes the gallery of 1-dimensional buffoons; the Jewish mother - the 'frustrated but deep' bar owner - the Republican lawyer who has a cash machine where his heart should be - the threatening, grandiose, immoral publisher - none of which is deep enough to understand TRU LUV.

- which brings me, inevitably to the 'love' (sic) story. Oh please. I'm writhing inside. While I very much accept that age difference is not an impediment to LUV, a 34-year old 'falling in luv' with a 15 year old because she's 'dancing in the rain' (sic) sounds like... drumroll... INFATUATION, or LUST. Mister bigshot writer (which one? Does it matter?) should have a way with words, but seems utterly incapable of self-analysis, diagnostic, soul-searching etc.
And from there we get the MOST INANE dialogues I have EVER read outside of Barbara Cartland books. Even 33 YEARS later, the dude wallows in self-pity and 'she's the only one I'll ever love' whines that make me want to smash a Dicker into a wall. Why were you in Luv, exactly? 'Cause she made you sandwiches and 'took care of you'???
I kid you not, this is what their whole relationship is about, and - wait for it - they only hang out for THREE MONTHS.

Also, (spoiler, but do you care at this point?) the kid is orphaned and psychotic - is there anything that screams 'victim with MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES' any louder to you? And did Harry Québert actually NOTICE these 'little details' about ‘his one true luv’?? Of course not, his gigantic EGO was in the way! Ach, this ‘book’ reminds me of Lars von Trier movies. 🤢🤮🤮

So, fine, you may be attracted to someone 20 years your junior. But if that someone fits the description above and has massively crushed on you - well, I've got news, buster; you're just exploiting someone's vulnerabilities WHICH IS NOT LUV. And the fact that you throw the rest of your whole life away afterwards doesn't make your Luv 'more sacred'. It just makes you a creep who is unable to deal with reality and leads you to befriend only ONE person for the rest of your life - astonishingly, ANOTHER creep.

- When. Does. The. Police. Ever. Let. A. Civilian. Lead. An. Investigation???? Especially in the US of A???? You have got to be kidding me. 🤯😖

- oh the writing, oh the writing... Find me ONE teenager in the 70s who called her lover 'dârling' and said things like 'you're so beastly!'
It sounds so fucking fake! I'll take an inch out of my sting because I read a translated version, but still - English AND French are both my native languages and as I was trying to go back and forth to imagine what the translator could have improved I was left in the dust. Oh, the maudlin, immature, 'poor-me' waterfalls in this book - oh what about the editing, the verbatim copies of previous pages - oh the psychological characterizations and depth that could fit in a thimble, oooh.

It was atrocious. I can't believe this even got published. Maybe because there are publisher characters in there? Maybe because Dicker held someone's mother for blackmail? I simply do not get it. WHO ARE THESE READERS??!
Read anything else.

*Edit; some people are telling me to go fuck myself for this review. I can only imagine they’re Joel Dicker in disguise - or worse! Joel Dicker FANBOYS😂😂😂😂 I didn’t think one could get so low😂😂😂
It’s a REVIEW, dicker-lovers. Get a life!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.6k followers
August 11, 2018
La Vérité sur la verité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert

"Reading bestsellers is like boxing, Marcus. They can both cause brain damage."


"But wait," said Gahalowood. "I still don't understand. Why is the book so badly written? Why is the writing so atrocious that every other sentence causes the reader physical pain, why is the dialogue so flat, and why are none of the characters even remotely credible?"

I sighed. "You see," I said, "that's exactly the point. The book is meant to be terrible. It's evidently constructed as a satire on the modern bestseller. That's why it reads as though it's been Google-translated from American with minimal cleaning up. That's why it's so ridiculously long - aren't all these bestsellers way too long? That's why there's all the stuff about the publishing industry. That's why the narrator is an author who can't write and doesn't have an idea in his head except that he wants to be a successful writer. That's why he constantly underlines that 'successful' today just means getting large advances and selling a lot of copies, and has absolutely nothing to do with literary quality. One must admit that the book achieves what it sets out to do. I'm sure it's put me off reading bestsellers for at least the next five years."

Gahalowood nodded thoughtfully. "Yes," he said. "Your analysis makes sense. And, at the same time, it doesn't. After all, the author has written a bestseller. The book has all the faults he points out, in spades. Most people read it straight. And, above all, why does the plot make no sense whatsoever, with every shred of possible meaning sacrificed for the sake of absurd twists? Why would any author do that?"

At that moment, Gahalowood's mobile rang. He picked it up and listened. A second later, a look of stupefaction crossed his face.

"What..." I began. But Gahalowood waved me away. "Yes," he said to his unknown interlocutor. "Yes... yes, I see. Yes. Thank you." He hung up.

"Who was that?" I ventured after a moment.

"The DNA laboratory," breathed Gahalowood. "They have the results of Joël Dicker's genetic tests. It turns out that he is the illegitimate child of James Patterson and Danielle Steel."

"Of course!" I said. "Patterson raped her when she was only fifteen. She insisted on keeping the baby but put him up for adoption with a Swiss family and never told a soul what had happened. When Dicker found out about his origins, you can imagine his feelings. He simultaneously loved the bestseller and hated it. He wanted to emulate his parents and at the same time get even with them. What else could he do but write this book?"

"You explain it so well!" said Gahalowood. "You are a genius. You need to write a Goodreads review about it, it will be the greatest review of all time. Everyone will vote for it."

"Not at all," I said modestly, but I knew he was right. And that's how you come to be reading this piece, La Vérité sur la verité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert.
Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,084 reviews6,999 followers
December 8, 2018
This is an unusual book and a great mystery/detective story. It’s unusual in that it’s set in New England and you would never know that it was translated from the French. The Swiss author used to spend his summers in Maine.

The story is Lolita-ish. Thirty-three years ago a college English professor/famous author from New Hampshire fell in love with a 15-year old girl. But unlike Humbert, Nabakov’s predator, this author genuinely tried to block his emotions – discouraging the girl from visiting his home; breaking up with her; trying to leave; not seeing her. He just couldn’t overcome his feelings.


The older author lives in a seafront house so we get some local color of New Hampshire, especially in a local diner where a lot of the action takes place.

Then the girl disappeared. The older man never recovered emotionally from her loss. Then thirty-three years after her disappearance, the girl’s body is accidentally found buried on the author’s property and, still grieving for her, he is charged with her murder.

While he is in prison awaiting trial, a younger author, also a famous writer, comes to the aid of his former professor and mentor. They are both loners; each other’s only friend. The younger author, the book’s main character, sets out to prove his mentor’s innocence and our mystery begins.

At first the case against the older author seems so convincing that we start with believing how could the perpetrator NOT be him? Little by little a second suspect emerges, and we are led to see how wrong we were. But it turns out the young girl led a much more dramatic life than we were aware of and now numerous suspects emerge. It’s a complex, tightly-knit plot, but we don’t get lost because of periodic discussions on the status of the investigation between the younger author and the lead detective on the case.


With both main characters being famous authors, the older mentor to the younger, we learn a lot about the writing process, creative inspiration, technique, writer’s block, etc. Most chapters are prefaced with snippets of the mentor’s advice on writing. We also get quite a bit on dealing with publishers and literary agents. An example that also illustrates the humor in the novel: The main character starts receiving threatening letters while investigating to help his friend. Since he intends to write a book about the investigation, his agent tells him:

“That’s great! That’ll really help sell the book. Imagine if someone tries to kill you – you could add another zero to the sales figures….two if you actually die.”
“As long as I die after finishing the book.”
“That goes without saying.”

The writing is good, not great, but, hey, it’s a mystery/detective novel. Some snippets I liked:

“No matter where you go, your problems go with you.”

(As the author of a non-fiction book published a few months ago, I offer this one with trepidation): “Only write fiction. Anything else will just bring you trouble.”

“People all over the world take responsibility, without even being aware of it, for advertising your product on a global scale. Isn’t that incredible? Facebook users are just people wearing sandwich boards for free.”


The book was a huge seller internationally when published in 2012 – more than 3 million copies sold. On GR it has more than 55,000 ratings and almost 7,000 reviews. It’s not critically acclaimed but I think it’s a great mystery/detective read, a break from heavier stuff, so I’m giving it a 5 and adding it to my favorites.

Top photo from newhampshirehomes.com
Middle photo from careyandgiampa.com
Photo of the author from Goodreads

Profile Image for Tommy Wallach.
Author 7 books890 followers
August 1, 2014
This book is, without a doubt, the worst thing I've read in many years. The fact that it was published at all boggles the mind. Honestly...I want my money back. Christ but it's terrible. Joel Dicker should never publish another novel again. Or write anything. Even a grocery list. Or speak. He should go live in a monastery in the woods and never bother anyone again. Dear lord. Make it stop.
Profile Image for Annet.
570 reviews723 followers
November 3, 2019
'How do you know when a book is finished?'
'Books are like life Marcus. They never really end...'

I just loved this book. Grand story and writing, unique in many ways, a calm but formidable buildup of the story which makes you want to keep going steady but with a building tension thinking all the time... 'what's going on here', great whodunit with unbelievable twists and turns til the last pages, remarkable set of characters, great setting... I just really enjoyed it from start to end.

And it's not only a crime story, it's a book about life, love, mistakes made ('Learn to love your failures Markus, because it is your failures that will make you who you are. It is your failures that will give meaning to your victories'), small town community living, boxing, running, writing... so much and all in such a great story.

It's about a summer in New Hampshire, in small town Somerset, when struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with 15-year old Nola Kellergan, a forbidden love. 33 years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that secured his lasting fame, 'The Origin of Evil'. Quebert is the only suspect. Markus Goldman, student once coached by Quebert, now a writer and friend, sets out to Somerset to investigate and clear Harry of any blame. Then... the story unfolds... (be careful not to pick up any spoilers!)

Interesting to see this book is 'controversial' in reviews, I see ratings going from 1 to 5. I'm on 4.5 going on 5. Fabulous book, worth every page for me. Made me think of John Irving's Garp, must be because of the setting New Hampshire, but also the sports, boxing instead of wrestling, but close, and the weird set of characters. Made me think of Donna Tartt's Goldfinch, maybe because of the setting New York and also, because of the quirky set of characters. Made me think of Twin Peaks, yes, definitely, because of the freaky atmosphere among the various characters. From my side: Recommended!

'You see Markus, the way it works in our society, we are constantly having to choose between reason and passion. Reason never helps anyone and passion is often destructive. So don't ask me to help you choose.'
Profile Image for Harris.
Author 8 books35 followers
June 20, 2014
Yeah, I have no idea why this is supposed to be so amazing. The plot itself is kind of uninspiring and reminds me of so many "dark secrets in a small town" stories that Stig Larssen popularized. And really, it's trying to be The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (just minus the secret Nazis) so badly it's kind of laughable.

The characters were universally unlikable - and honestly the jet-set life of the best-selling author kind of made me laugh my ass off. Maybe I missed when Jonathan Franzen was being recognized on the street? The only reason why I know what James Patterson or Michael Connolly look like is because they showed up on a couple episodes of Castle.

(Also: The Origin of Evil is about... lovers separated by class? What?)
(Also: So Harry Quebert basically wrote... The Notebook then?)

And for all that this is about the amazing love affair betwen Harry Quebert and Nola (SEE! IT SOUNDS LIKE LOLA, WHICH IS REMINISCENT OF LOLITA, AREN'T I MR. CLEVER-BOOTS??) and we're supposed to sympathize with Harry for his epic tale of love and loss, IT IS STILL ABOUT A 35 YEAR OLD MAN HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH A 15 YEAR OLD GIRL. I'm sorry, I'm just not going to get past the fact that we're supposed to sympathize with an hebephile who thinks a teenager was the love of his life.

Then there's the dialogue. Holy shit. The dialogue is *atrocious*. People DO NOT TALK LIKE THAT. Even allowing for the differences between dialogue in movies and books and reality, the dlalogue is clunky and awkward at best and just down right mindbogglingly bad at worst. I'm willing to split the difference in the blame here; this originally was written in French (IIRC), so there may be something lost in the translation but sweet sufferin' Jeebus, if they're going to translate it, get someone who doesn't have a tin ear, huh?

This was awful.
Profile Image for Jaline.
444 reviews1,607 followers
January 16, 2019
This novel reinforces for me why I love big books so much:

(1) They cover a lot of territory without feeling rushed or cramped.
(2) They leave room for many different sub-plots to add spice and enhancement to the main plot.
(3) Their expansiveness, when utilized properly, allows the reader to live thoroughly the experiences in the book, sharing space with the characters, and getting to know them.

In this novel, I was completely occupied with being surprised, shocked, and moved by the characters; sometimes I was busy being upset with them and judging them. Only to find out I was wrong. And then wrong again. And how amazing and liberating to be wrong some more, yet never for one minute relinquishing the urge to discover more about the people involved in this story – and to help solve the mysteries! Yes, I did feel I was right there in the story with everyone else trying to figure out what had happened. And what was still happening.

Marcus Goldman wrote a book in his 20’s that made him famous. Then he was hit with what is referred to in the book as “the writer’s disease”. For almost two years he couldn’t put two sentences together and his publisher is now threatening legal action. He even went to visit Harry Quebert (kuh-bear), his literature professor from college at his beautiful home in New England. Not just his literature professor; also his mentor, his master. Even that did not help to get him unstuck and past the barrier of resistance that weighed on him.

Shortly after Marcus’ visit, Harry Quebert is arrested for the murder of Nola Kellergan 33 years earlier. Her remains are discovered in the grounds of Harry’s home and Marcus discovers that when his mentor was 34 years old, he fell madly in love with a 15 year old high school girl shortly before publishing a masterpiece novel. Marcus is determined to clear his friend’s name and restore his reputation which is now in shreds. He also asks Harry for permission to write a book about all of this – both to set the record straight and to get some breathing space from his publisher’s pressure.

This story is about love. Romantic love, obsessive love, protective love, ferocious love, fragile love, and many other shades of love. Here are a few quotes on the diverse aspects of love:

”The truth does not change how you feel about someone. That’s the great tragedy of love. ”

”Love, love, always love! But what is love? It doesn’t mean anything! Love is just a trick invented by men so they don’t have to do their own laundry!”

”Cherish love, Marcus. Make it your greatest conquest, your sole ambition. After men, there will be other men. After books, there will be other books. After glory, there will be other glories. After money, there will be yet more money. But after love, Marcus, after love, there is nothing but the salt from tears.”

This novel had me under its spell from the very beginning, and it kept me there – completely mesmerized – to the very end. I don’t think I have ever before read a book that is as dizzy-making with its myriad curves and twists and sharp turns. The story, the writing, the seamless integration of various timelines, and the characters – all of these together make for one of the most engaging reads I have experienced.

What’s more, although this book shows up as 624 pages on my eReader, reading it felt like I was flying through the pages. This will be the first read of 2019 to land on my Favourites shelf – my ultimate Sixth Star.
Profile Image for Allegra.
3 reviews45 followers
June 27, 2013
La decepción del mes. Empieza muy bien. Y ahora llegan los peros: Repetitivo hasta la nausea, tramposo, nos cuenta la misma trama que no avanza durante 700 páginas escritas con simpleza. "Oh, Nola, te quiero, te quiero qué guapa eres, Nola. Yo le quiero a usted, oh oh, ámeme muchito trocito de miel" y lindezas cursis insoportables. Muchos sospechosos pero tras leer lo mismo una y otra vez...a quién le importa quién mato a la dichosa Nola? Yo misma la hubiese ahogado en el mar con sus malditas gaviotas! Por no hablar de la trama insufrible y pretenciosa de los dos escritores inanes, los anónimos cursis que pretender infundir miedo,las lecciones de Harry que a nadie interesan...Un truño impresionante convertido por obra y gracia del tipping point en un hype que en España nadie se atreverá a criticar porque los intelectuales lo adorarán. ¡Viene de Francia!! Es el nuevo Nabokov!!! No-li-ta! Lo dicho, incomprensible. Casi tanto como las Sombras de Grey.

Profile Image for Beatriz.
829 reviews706 followers
May 8, 2020
Concuerdo plenamente con la sinopsis del libro y creo que es su mejor característica: La verdad sólo llega al final de un largo, intrincado y apasionante recorrido. A los pocos capítulos es imposible no darse cuenta que esta será de esas novelas en que la gracia es acompañar al personaje principal en el descubrimiento de pistas y más pistas que permitirán resolver el misterio, mientras el autor, cada pocos capítulos –y con muy buen manejo de saltos en el tiempo–, desvía la atención por innumerables sospechosos.

La verdad, lo he pasado en grande con este libro ya que disfruto mucho con este tipo de lecturas. Además, hay que reconocer que Joël Dicker sabe cómo mantener la tensión en todo momento y el ritmo nunca decae. Por lo mismo, se disfruta mucho más el desarrollo que el desenlace. El final estuvo bien, sin cabos sueltos, pero tampoco es de esos que te vuelan la cabeza, de hecho era una de las tantas teorías que fui armando durante la lectura. Sólo hubo un aspecto que no me esperaba y que, según me parece, es el que realmente le da el título al libro.

Si hay que ponerle un pero, es la relación de Nola y Harry, el autor no la supo abordar, se empantana, sus diálogos son impresionantemente superficiales y en ningún momento me transmitieron ese “amor que se encuentra una vez en la vida”.

Reto #50 PopSugar 2018: Un libro recomendado por alguien más que este realizando el Popsugar Reading Challenge
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,051 reviews577 followers
November 18, 2022
There’s essentially three stories here:

- Two men’s individual struggle to write a book
- An older man’s love for a 15 year old girl
- The mystery surrounding the murder of the 15 year old girl

Yes, they’re all linked – but it sometimes feels like a hodgepodge of styles: maybe Jonathan Franzen meets Mills and Boon, meets Agatha Christie?

It’s long: over 600 pages in print and in excess of 20 hours of audio. I went the latter route, and was rewarded by a competent reading by Robert Slade. It’s also slow paced, sometimes agonisingly so.

Marcus Goldman travels to Somerset, the New Hampshire town of his college professor, Harry Quebert, to attempt to unlock something that will enable him to write a follow–up to his first, highly successful, book. Soon after, the body of a 15-year-old girl is discovered on Harry’s property along with a manuscript of his acclaimed novel, The Origin of Evil. The girl, Nolla Kellergan, had disappeared 33 years earlier. Harry is arrested and charged with Nolla’s abduction and murder and Marcus decides to carry out an investigation of his own, in the hope of clearing his mentor. He’s also persuaded to write a book about his investigation and accepts a multi-million-pound advance from his publisher.

This book was originally written in French and it might be that it’s lost something in translation. Certainly, for me the telling of the relationship between Harry and Nolla didn’t work at all. Harry is clearly an intelligent, articulate, good-looking man. Nolla is all child, with little to offer in terms of conversation or intellect. The verbal exchanges between the two are painful, in the extreme. We’re led to believe that Harry fell for her after a brief initial meeting at a beach and became obsessed by her thereafter. No – not for me. I know she’s portrayed as physically attractive, but even so…

Much better are the conversations between the two writers and those between Marcus Goldman and his publisher. These are sharp and amusing. And the telephone calls between Marcus and his overbearing Jewish mother are hilarious. I kept wishing there was more of this and less of Nolla and the other, equally dull, inhabitants of Somerset.

Then there’s the fact that nobody in Somerset seems to have been aware of the relationship between Harry and Nolla. Well, I’m not going to spoil it for potential readers by explaining why I feel strongly about this but there’s a give away clue running through the book that none of the locals seem to have worked out. Or have they? In the final section of the book it all suddenly switches up a few gears and it becomes apparent that quite a few of the large cast have been hiding secrets of their own. It’s full-on from this point to the finish with revelations heaped one upon the other, to the extent I half expected a gathering of the town population to be called so that the truth could be walked through in front of the full ensemble.

The whole thing is told in jumpy fashion, both in terms of the order of events and from whose perspective the story is being told at any given time. Though, actually this does work quite well once you get used to the style. But it’s certainly rambling and quite repetitive and I can’t help feeling that quite a bit of material could have been cut and a more finely crafted end result might have materialised.

If you can live with it’s flaws, then you’ll probably extract something worthwhile from it. I’m not sad I spent some time with this book, but I doubt it’ll be amongst the best I read this year.
4 reviews4 followers
July 9, 2014
Spectacularly terrible! It's absolutely mind boggling to me that this was a runaway success and prize winner in France. From the very first pages you can tell that the dialogue is atrocious and the story cliched almost to the point of offensiveness, and it certainly doesn't get any better as the book unfolds. What on earth do people see in this book? It's not possible that it is *that* much better in the original French, right?
Profile Image for Nancy Martira.
564 reviews31 followers
August 11, 2014
I believe this is the worst book I've ever read; granted, I don't read a lot of bad books. If a book is terrible or if I'm just not enjoying it, I don't finish it - life is too short. So, why did I stick with it for nearly 600 pages? It's a mystery!

Mysteries that are more mysterious than the "mystery" at the heart of this book:

Is this a terrible novel or just a terrible English translation?

How did this become an international bestseller? No, really. Europe alone produces tons of excellent crime fiction, so why did everyone lose their minds over this piece of garbage?

Is the writer a misogynist or just a really bad writer? Unclear.

Is this irony? A novel about the craft of writing that is so atrociously written - is this some kind of French performance art and I don't get it?

Did anyone fact check this book? No one in small town New Hampshire was calling 911 in 1975. Sorry. Also, 26 year-old writers with debut novels do not suddenly become so rich and famous that they purchase Land Rovers and West Village apartments, and date Hollywood stars. But thanks for the laughs.
Profile Image for Charlène.
159 reviews15 followers
February 14, 2013
Par où commencer?
D'abord les points + : Lecture facile, histoire pas mal ficelée...
les - : Cet ouvrage, qui a tout de même reçu le prix du roman de l'académie française et goncourt des lycéens, n'a AUCUN style littéraire, je sais pas à quoi je m'attendais mais j'avoue être très déçue... Je suis un peu comme Galahwood au début du roman: j'aimerais me faire rembourser... Les caractères des personnages sont peu décrits et peu travaillés. Les descriptions sont risibles, la scène de rencontre entre Nola et Quebert pourrait sortir d'un roman de Daniel Steel... Quoi qu' elle aurait probablement prit la peine de décrire les sentiments: ici, on sait juste que Quebert a eu le coup de foudre en voyant les remous des vagues frôler les jambes de la damoiselle... Beaucoup trop de répétitions inutiles...
Profile Image for Labijose.
958 reviews414 followers
September 15, 2018
Un fenómeno literario a nivel de ventas y críticas, que he tardado bastante tiempo en decidirme a leer.
Consideraciones: En la parte negativa, creo que el autor abusa de los giros inesperados. Una y otra vez, cuando parecía que el caso estaba resuelto, aparece un nuevo giro que hace cuestionar toda la investigación realizada. Y así hasta el capítulo final. Esto tiene su parte positiva y su parte negativa, pero a mí me parece que abusa de despistar al lector.
La investigación en sí, con la asistencia del comisario Gahalowood es bastante chapucera. ¿Saben que ocurrió algo determinante muchos años atrás en la familia de Nola, y no se molestan en investigarlo hasta que el suceso les explota en la cara?
¡¡¡Las conversaciones telefónicas de Marcus y su madre!!! Es evidente que el autor quiere ponerle un poco de humor al asunto, pero ……… ¡!!!!!!!
La relación de Harry con Nola …….. Algo me chirría. No me termina de parecer verídico.

Y en la parte positiva: que a pesar de todo lo anteriormente dicho, la novela se lee con mucho interés. La curiosidad hace que el lector se trague capítulo tras capítulo tras capítulo (en sentido inverso, del 31 al 1), ávido por conocer más detalles. Personajes poco convincentes, trama un pelín pasada de rosca, estilo literario cuestionable……. ¡Y no puedes dejar de leer hasta el final!
Profile Image for Mia Nauca.
124 reviews3,833 followers
August 25, 2017
Toda una joya de novela negra/policial/thriller, desde el primer capítulo te atrapa en una historia llena de giros argumentales, pasión y engaños.

Debo decir que nunca me había pasado que un libro me sorprendiera tanto con un final, en el que realmente no me imaginaba quien era el asesino.

Este libro se ha convertido en uno de mis favoritos este año, pero sí tuve un problema grande con el y fueron sus personajes femeninos que realmente me resultaron insulsos y cansinos, toda su vida giraba en torno a los hombres y para mi eran demasiado machistas como para conectarme y sentir un poco de empatía por ellas. Pero, la verdad es un libro tan bueno que lo dejaré pasar por alto.

La verdad sobre el caso Harry Quebert es una que TIENEN que descubrir
Profile Image for Joaquin Garza.
533 reviews630 followers
July 6, 2015
Como noir es terrible. Desastroso. Como lectura de camastro es triunfal.

Dios santo… podría empezar a enumerar la cantidad cosas que están tan mal en este libro, pero… No, olvídenlo. Mejor sí las voy a listar.

¿Qué es lo que hace a un libro bueno? Y estoy hablando de ficción de género, no ficción literaria. En realidad, siendo totalmente objetivos, para que un libro sea ‘bueno’ tiene que exceder las expectativas en tres cosas muy pequeñas: trama, prosa y caracterización. Y nada más. No es algo tremendamente difícil de entender. Sin embargo, Dicker tiene fallos en cada una de las tres, aunque en su favor voy a decir que donde menos tiene es en trama.

Antes de entrar a mencionar lo que hallé en cada uno de los anteriores conceptos haré una nota sobre la ambientación. Aquí viene el mayor error de la novela: se nota a leguas que Dicker no es estadounidense. Todavía si hubiera ambientado su novela en cualquier otra parte del país habría pasado mejor, pero la ambientó en Nueva Inglaterra y vengo llegando de leer dos novelas de Stephen King casi en sucesión. Dicker tiene una idea de pasada de la idiosincrasia gringa, y parece que está escribiendo para alimentar la idea que el europeo promedio tiene del estadounidense. Sus comentarios sobre los hechos políticos del país parecen sacados de una leída superficial a Le Monde. Además, comete errores: Harry se la pasa mencionando tener miedo a la silla eléctrica… en un estado que no ha ejecutado a nadie desde 1939 y que si bien es retencionista de la pena capital, su método legal es la inyección letal (esto me tardó dos minutos buscarlo en Wikipedia). Como consecuencia de todo esto, al libro no le ha ido bien en Estados Unidos (Penguin ni siquiera lo publicó en pasta dura!!). Cada vez que nos sintamos apabullados ante la cantidad de libros que leen los europeos, sólo hay que recordar que por cada Larsson y cada Pérez-Reverte o Posteguillo hay un Jonas Jonasson y un Joel Dicker.

La prosa es bastante plana y sin gracia. No sé si haya algo de ‘traductor traidor’ en mi edición, pero aún así por puntos falta descripción: el pueblo de Aurora carece completamente de sentido del lugar. King ya nos ha llevado a Nueva Inglaterra muchas veces, y cada uno de sus pueblos tiene vida propia. Aquí no. Otro fallo de la prosa es que por puntos es púrpura a matar (El obvio homenaje a Nabokov N-O-LA vs. L-O-L-I-T-A es desternillante). Los diálogos entre los personajes carecen de gracia y chispa, y a veces llegan a ser verdaderamente acartonados.

Caracterización: La gran virtud del género de misterio, en su variante clásica, es su caracterización curiosa, minuciosa, ligeramente absurdista. Una especie de comedia humana donde el ingenio resuelve crímenes cometidos por fallos fundamentales de carácter. Y en su variante hardboiled o negra, la caracterización es chillante, sobreactuada. En el libro no encontramos ninguna de las dos: encontramos personajes de cartón. La madre de Marcus es un estereotipo judío tan manido y forzado que me recordó a la madre de Howard Wolowitz en Big Bang Theory. Gahalowood es planísimo, además de poco creíble (¿Tan fácil van a dejar que un civil se meta en una investigación así como así?). La familia Quinn es un cliché, así como lo es ese pobre tipo de Luther Caleb y peor aún Stern. Baranski, cliché. Rothman, cliché. No voy a decir que Marcus Goldman me pareciera un personaje insoportable, porque al final reconozco a mucha gente y a partes desafortunadas de mí en él: he vivido y trabajado con overachievers ya demasiado tiempo, y en la mayoría de los casos me provocan un bostezo. Sobre el amigo del título, pues el gran problema es que pasamos a pies juntillas que es un pedófilo y no se explora ‘el origen del mal’ (chiste!).

Trama: como decía, donde Dicker comete menos errores. Aun así voy a notar un par: el primero es que, si bien los giros de la trama son súper hábiles, son demasiados. Me recordó a Elantris, el primer libro de Brandon Sanderson, donde se notaba que era su primera novela por el exceso de giros cuando ya no debía haber más. Son demasiadas codas: cuando parece que va a terminar, ahí va otro giro. Hay una línea muy delgada entre la genialidad que debe mostrar todo escritor de misterio para confundir al lector y la ofuscación que provoca estarlo zarandeando. Dicker, me temo, cruza esa línea. Otro error es que una de las subtramas (para no spoilear, tiene algo de psiquiátrico) es demasiado… jalada. Rompió para mí la suspensión de la incredulidad.

Y la cantidad de cosas que sí están bien con este libro fundamentalmente son dos: la primera, que sospecho es la que le granjeó los premios que le granjeó, es el manejo de la metaficción. Un libro que cuenta la historia de un escritor escribiendo un libro que habla sobre un libro, y al final el primer libro es el libro que la trama describe que se escribió (¿Entendido???). En general considero difícil que a uno le salga mal este recurso, y casi siempre es garantía de buena estructura. Aquí la estructura es bastante trabajada, a muchos tiempos, con intervalos e insertos que tiendo a preferir para darle más sustancia al libro. Entonces kudos por ahí.

La otra virtud, y aquí me detengo, es que Dicker sabe muy bien cómo escribir un ‘ripping yarn’ o una madeja que se desenrolla. Es decir, un libro que uno no puede soltar. Repito: uno no puede soltar el libro. Es el peor libro que uno no pueda soltar que he leído. La lectura fundamental para leer en la playa, en la alberca, en las vacaciones. La lectura fundamental para recomendar a familia y amigos. En este sentido, triunfa. Y triunfa bien. Yo sí voy a andarla prestando por ahí.
Profile Image for Denisse.
492 reviews290 followers
January 18, 2019
I've always had a weakness for mystery books. In this story every character matters, every subplot is related, and Joel Dicker creates one of the best modern dark novels. It is more than just a Who killed Nola Kellergan? and yet, that is the question that will travel with you through all the pages. A novel that will swallow you completely. A story about sickness, love, sadness, books and hidden pasts. A victory for the writer. Well done Dicker.

«Todo el mundo sabe escribir, pero no todo el mundo es escritor»

Me encantan los libros donde por la primera mitad de la historia no sabes ni que jodidos esta pasando, y en las últimas páginas, absolutamente todas las piezas encajan perfecto. Ese es el ejemplo de un libro hecho a conciencia y con verdadera dedicación. Tuve la buena suerte de nacer siendo una lectora muy paciente, porque así pude disfrutar de La verdad sobre el caso Harry Quebert a mis anchas.

La pluma de Joel Dicker me encanto. Tiene una forma de narrar que hasta el pasado del personaje secundario más aburrido parecía sumamente interesante. Además que es bastante neutral. Me refiero a que el romance y los horrores cometidos por algunos personajes no se leían de forma ya juzgada si no como acciones y te deja a ti el beneficio de interpretar a cada personaje como te guste, y eso me encanto.

«No existen bosques suficientes en proporción al número de malos escritores que pueblan este pais. »

Como estamos hablando de una novela negra, hay que entrar sabiendo que todos, o casi todos los personajes tienen algún tipo de problema o trastorno social. Pero a pesar de eso, Robert Quinn, Travis Dawn y Perry Gahalwood fueron mis favoritos. Nuestro principal Marcus “Markie” también es un muy buen personaje.

«La gente compra cada vez menos libros, excepto cuando se trata de historias espantosas que los ligan a sus más bajos instintos.»

La historia empieza con una trama muy básica y conforme avanzas salen a la luz tantas subtramas tan interesantes que directa o indirectamente estarán ligadas con nuestro caso: QUIEN MATO A NOLA KELLERGAN? Es un libro sobre la tristeza de dejar pasar el tiempo, la soledad por no decir lo que se siente, la felicidad encontrada donde tal vez no deberías, la angustia por las malas acciones echas por instinto, el miedo por haber callado, los libros como arte y como marketing. Hay algo en este libro que te va a gustar. Altamente recomendado.

Para cualquier verdadero amante del misterio en su forma más cruda, La verdad sobre el caso Harry Quebert tiene mucho para dar. Una novela que va más allá que un caso policiaco de entretenimiento. Arregla tu agenda de lectura si lo piensas leer porque las últimas 100 páginas te las querrás devorar de una sentada.
Profile Image for Justin (Look Alive Books).
278 reviews2,258 followers
January 10, 2020
I said it before and I'll say it again, or write it again, whatever, but this book is about 150 to 200 pages too long. It's too long, but my biggest issue with it isn't the ridiculously unnecessary length, it's the way the story is contrived and the way the characters interact that bugged me the most.

Is Dicker trying to write a modern version of Lolita? Is he going for a new spin on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Is he trying to write a sprawling murder mystery or is he trying to write a new literary classic that rivals Nabokov, Roth, Joyce, whoever. Maybe I'm just out of touch with the formula that works in Europe since this won a bunch of awards over there. I don't know.

It started out so well. I liked it in the beginning. I thought it was cool that it danced between different time periods, different conversations, different characters past and present. I even liked the addition of Goldman's struggle to write the book within the book although that became uninteresting as the story played out. The structure was cool, the mystery unfolded pretty well, all that was fine. There was enough there to keep me reading.

Actually, it was kind of interesting that the book was hard to put down when I was reading it, but I could also put it down for days at a time and not miss it. It was hard to put down and hard to pick up at the same time. I don't know that I've had that experience from another book before, at least nothing that comes to mind right now. Tonight, I was determined to plow through it and get to the bottom of the mystery, and I did, and it was fine, but I ultimately didn't enjoy the book.

Some stuff that bugged me:
1. The way Marcus meets Harry was stupid. It wasn't enough to convince me that he cared so much about him later in life. It felt like a really uninspired way to build their relationship, and I didn't get enough from it to think Marcus should be this invested in his case.
2. The over-the-top, sappy, gushy romance. This is no Lolita, and maybe it thinks it is, but it isn't. Harry sounds like a fifteen year old who is in love with another fifteen year old. It feels so juvenile that I think my eyes might still be rolling... getting dizzy... oh boy....OK, I'm fine. I couldn't take the way Harry talked about Nola. It was stupid.
3. Good Lord, is every male in the story a pervert?
4. We figured it out! Yay! Nope, just kidding. Wait, we solved it. Nope, tricked ya! Hey, here's the suspect! Nope! The last third of the book felt like watching pro wrestling where the good guy keeps hitting his finishing move but the bad guy keeps kicking out just before the referee can count to three. Oh, so close! He almost had him! But then it's like the good guy was wrestling the wrong guy the whole time so the analogy eventually breaks down until... RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!
5. Did I mention the book is unnecessarily too long? I really think Dicker wanted to hit a home run with a literary masterpiece which is hard to do when you're trying to also write a page-turning murder mystery. I don't need a break from the action to talk about how hard it was to write the book for Marcus or Harry's advice on being a writer. Just keep peeling the onion for me.

This thing had some potential, and I did enjoy the story at times, but things just broke down for me once I got over the halfway point, and I couldn't make excuses for it anymore. I didn't understand the negative reviews in the beginning, but now... now they all make sense to me.
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
536 reviews401 followers
May 8, 2019
Kennt ihr dieses Gefühl wenn ihr ein richtig, richtig gutes Buch lest und von Anfang an wisst, dass es einfach ein Highlight wird? Ich hatte von Seite 1 dieses Buches an genau dieses Gefühl! Ohne zu übertreiben kann ich behaupten, dass das eins der besten Bücher ist, das ich je gelesen habe. Kein Wort auf diesen über 700 Seiten war zu viel, zu wenig oder fehl am Platz. Es war einfach perfekt, jeder Buchstabe, jede Silbe, jedes Wort, jeder Satz und jedes Kapitel. Es ist alles so perfekt durchdacht und erzählt, dass mich Joel Dicker mehr als nachhaltig beeindruckt hat. Immer wenn ich nicht am Lesen war, konnte ich nicht anders als an dieses Buch zu denken und das passiert mir mittlerweile leider viel zu selten.
Nach dieser Lobeshymne möchte ich eigentlich gar nicht viel über die Geschichte oder die Charaktere erzählen, denn ich würde dem Ganzen einfach nicht gerecht werden können. Man muss es einfach erleben und selber in diesen Schmöker eintauchen.
Ich werde mir auf jeden Fall direkt die anderen Bücher des Autors besorgen, denn er hat sich mit diesem bereits in mein Bücherherz geschrieben und zählt jetzt schon zu einem meiner liebsten Autoren!
August 28, 2022
Leída dentro de la iniciativa del #agostonegro

Me ha parecido un librazo, una novela en la que hay que descubrir quién mató a una niña de 15 años, un hecho que sucedió hace 30 años y lo hace en dos hilos temporales, el presente y el pasado, a través de los personajes que vivieron con ella en el momento en que se produjeron los hechos,

La novela no solo trata esta investigación por parte de un escritor, sino también trata de cómo ser un escritor de una manera ética o no, con consejos que se dan al inicio de cada capítulo y que estos se cuentan al revés, va del final al 1. También trata un tema muy espinoso del que no todos los lectores se ponen de acuerdo, la relación de un hombre adulto con una menor de edad, hasta que punto es reprobable estos hechos y la edad del consentimiento.

De la misma manera que se critica esta relación, se debería también criticar a un grupo de personajes que aparecen en la historia por el mismo motivo, crítica que no veo por ningún lado.

No se lleva las 5 estrellas a pesar de haberme tenido pegadas a sus páginas porque hay dos finales, uno que afecta a los dos escritores y otro el de la resolución del caso, aquí es donde la personalidad oculta de un personaje, que no se desvela hasta el final, desenreda parte de esta historia. Me parece una salida fácil para un libro y otro motivo es su extensión, llega un momento que la investigación no avanza y ahí sigues tú leyendo páginas y páginas...

Aún así, lo recomiendo mucho.
Profile Image for Derenai.
11 reviews2 followers
August 19, 2015
J'ai été incroyablement déçue par ce livre. Je ne comprends pas comment ce roman a pu être récompensé du prix de l'Académie française ou être sélectionné pour le Goncourt. Le style est tout simplement médiocre. Les personnage sont creux, stéréotypés, et ne s'exprime ni ne réagissent de façon réaliste. L'histoire d'amour autour de laquelle tourne tout le roman n'est absolument pas décrite en dehors de nombreux dialogues mièvres si bien qu'il est impossible d'être touché par cette histoire. Si l'auteur veut parler d'une histoire entre un homme de trente et une fille de quinze ans, alors qu'il prenne la peine de nous montrer comment cet homme a pu tomber amoureux d'elle autrement qu'en nous répétant que la fille en question est extraordinaire. C'est le gros point faible de l'écriture de Dicker, il dit mais ne montre rien si bien que je n'ai éprouvé aucune émotion en le lisant. Sans compter que l'histoire manque profondément de rythme. Des passages entier pourraient être omis et les nombreux flashbacks ralentissent le récit.

Je n'ai terminé ce roman que parce qu'on m'a répété que la fin était extraordinaire mais là encore, j'ai été déçue. L'une des révélations les plus importante ne tient absolument pas la route et se base sur un malentendu grotesque, prouvant qu'aucune personnage ne réagit de façon réaliste. Amenée autrement, elle aurait pu être très intéressante mais elle m'a plutôt donné l'impression que l'auteur se moquait de ses lecteurs.

Au final, un livre qui ne vaut absolument pas la médiatisation qu'il a reçue et que je déconseille fortement.
February 26, 2017
¡Este libro es alucinante y es mejor que lo lean sin que sepan absolutamente nada de la trama!

Así que, dicho esto, les daré unas cuantas razones para que lean La Verdad Sobre el Caso Harry Quebert:

1. Los inicios de capítulo son únicos. Cada uno tiene un pequeño consejo de escritor a escritor y, aunque algunos pueden parecer muy obvios, dentro del contexto del libro se sienten como cápsulas de sabiduría.
2. Todo el libro gira alrededor de un gran misterio, de un asesinato, y de cómo se va investigando lo que sucedió hace 30 años. Y, si creen que este es uno de esos libros en lo que el culpable se adivina desde la primera página, están equivocados. En La Verdad Sobre el Caso Harry Quebert cambias de sospechoso en cada capítulo. Es impresionante.
3. Como cada capítulo te deja loco, no puedes parar de leer y, a pesar de que el libro tiene más de 600 páginas, te lo d e v o r a s.
4. Creo que los giros de trama, a veces, no se los ve venir ni el propio autor. Son tan inesperados y cambian tantísimo las reglas del juego que tienes que cerrar el libro por un segundo y procesar lo que acaba de suceder.
5. Si piensan que esta es una novela negra o una novela policíaca, creo que se equivocan. La Verdad Sobre el Caso Harry Quebert es mucho más que eso y no creo que se pueda encasillar en uno de estos géneros. Es verdad que hay una investigación policial y una investigación privada, pero la trama y el estilo en el que está escrita va mucho más allá.
6. No va a suceder pero... si por alguna razón se aburren leyendo el libro, pueden ir a la solapa de atrás, ver la foto del guapísimo Joël Dicker, motivarse y seguir leyendo, jajaja.

Ahora, lo único que no me gustó mucho del libro fueron los diálogos de amor. Me parecían una cosa increíblemente sobreactuada, forzada y falsa. Pero, oye, seguro que hay personas que hablan así y de todas maneras ligan(?).

Por lo demás, este es un libro de diez, así que se los súper recomiendo.
Profile Image for annelitterarum.
221 reviews1,430 followers
March 23, 2023
Je pense que le fait que je donne 5 étoiles à un livre policier de 850 pages lu en 5 jours est suffisant pour expliquer ma propre surprise. À savoir que mon genre de livre que j’aime le moins sont les gros livres de type thriller (à ma grande surprise policier ≠ thriller. Qui l’aurait cru. Je suis vendue au genre maintenant.)

Marcus t’es moi
Profile Image for Arybo ✨.
1,323 reviews134 followers
September 27, 2018
🇬🇧 «Fly, you fools!»

Short comment:

an intriguing beginning, second fourth indigestible, third fourth unbearable, last fourth half unbearable, half acceptable. Characters stupid, egocentric, superficial, unbearable. Unacceptable romance, insubstantial literary story, mystery that resumes in the final. A great flop.

Longer comment (possible spoilers):
Each chapter begins with a "advice" that the famous Harry Quebert gives to his pupil Marcus during his life. Each advice occupies one page. Waste of paper.

At certain point raids in the past appear and often during important scenes ambientate in the present. If this should bring the reader to stand on the edge of the chair because he/she wants to know thing happens, well, it does not works.
Because the only emotion that this work tries giving me is nuisance. And not is the nuisance from "oh-my-god-i-want-to-know-thing-happens". No, is the nuisance from "still? Again this plot? There isn’t another way to create suspense?".

There are many things that piss me off:

1. a book that has won prizes should have at least a good way of tell events, emotions, facts, feelings. Here is all blank because of the colorless writing, pure narrate of actions, plain dialogues.
There isn’t characterization of characters. How do you think to write a love story without investigating the soul of his protagonists?
2. lack of psychological deep, then. In a book that is long 779 pages it is impossible. This book is cataloged between novels, then nope, there must to be feelings. And I’m not talking about the phrases in Wichita Harry says that he loves someone, that the love is the only reason for live ecc. No, i mean that the characters, while being seen from of outside, must express at least in gestures what they think. There aren’t descriptions. Now, i understand that we cannot read the mind of Harry, being already all it written from point of view of Marcus. But that there are at least the feelings of Marcue! If only the narrator wrote his thoughts! your master is imprisoned and you not say anything, no feeling? Regret, anger, resignation, contempt, disbelief? The nothing absolute?
3. and then, you ask why the people are looking you badly when you defend him? Knowing that a 35 year old loves a fifteen years old and has no regret?
She can be her daughter! And you aren’t surprised!? As if it was normal.
3. The gigantic ego of Marcus. He Wrote a book, has had success, has spent all what has earned and complains why, after two years in the luxury, doesn’t have more money. My dear Marcus, rarely the writers have lived as pasha thanks to books. You have written a book, a best seller, then do not complain if, to gain more money and to continue your precious life, you will have to work. If your dream is to live of writing, and not do anything else, don’t cry because of a writer slump. You wanted that.

4. when i read the mist of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley I hated Genevieve. She Is the only character that i detested form the beginning to the end, because of her coquetry, her superficiality, her stupidity. In this book I hated everyone. The women / girls thought only how to catch Harry Quebert because he is rich and because he should be handsome. Nola, the girl, and Jenny, the waitress, have the eyes covered with ham, they are distant years from reality, they live in a fairy world in wich their desires rides the actions of other people. Wrong. In fact before or then they’ll understand. The mother of jenny and the mother of marcus are from strangle. Two geese.
5. the inquiry. Oh, men, the inquiry. When does the police let investigate a writer, a public citizen? When ? Not Even in the tv series happens: in castle the writer must have a permission and be always accompanied by officers. I have no words. And where are the police officers? They Appear on scene only towards the half of the book.

7. I have to say that the last eighty pages are well made. However, in a 779 pages long book is not enough.

8. please, if you want to write a book on one writer-detective, do not take example from this. Do all you want, but not copy this shame. Its unreadable, a accumulation of conversations that have not sense, only empty words. Accompanied with insipid, arrogant, stupid characters.

I could write 31 points, as the advices, BUT HEY, o have one life, and I’m tired of this book. Then adios book, I’m searching better novels that make me feel something. Goodbye, marcus goldman, I’ll never see you again. 👋🏼


🇮🇹«Fuggite, sciocchi!»

Commento breve:

Inizio intrigante, secondo quarto indigesto, terzo quarto insopportabile, ultimo quarto metà insopportabile, metà accettabile.
Personaggi stupidi, egocentrici, superficiali, avventati, insopportabili.
Storia romantica inaccettabile, storia letteraria inconsistente, storia gialla che si riprende nel finale.
Un gran flop.

Commento più approfondito (possibili SPOILERS):

Andiamo con ordine.
Ogni capitolo inizia con un “consiglio” che il famoso Harry Quebert dà al suo pupillo Marcus durante la sua vita. Ogni consiglio occupa una pagina.
Spreco di carta.
Volti pagina, quella a sinistra è vuota, quella a destra inizia direttamente parlando del presente. Ad un certo punto iniziano a comparire incursioni nel passato che, spesso, escono nel bel mezzo di importanti scene narrative ambientate nel presente. Se questo dovrebbe portare il lettore a stare sul pizzo della sedia perché vuole sapere cosa succede, beh, non funziona. Perché l’unica emozione che questo artificio narrativo mi fa provare è fastidio. E non è il fastidio da “oh-mio-Dio-devo-sapere-cosa-succede”. No, è il fastidio da “ancora? Di nuovo questo escamotage? Un altro modo per creare suspence non c’è?”.

Ci sono molte cose che mi hanno reso indigesta la lettura.

1. Un libro che ha vinto dei premi prestigiosissimi dovrebbe avere almeno un buon modo di raccontare avvenimenti, emozioni, fatti, sensazioni. Qui è tutto banalizzato da una scrittura incolore, quasi insipida, che non va oltre il puro narrare di azioni, riportare dialoghi.
Non c’è un minimo approfondimento del carattere dei personaggi, neanche dello stesso protagonista, CHE VUOLE SCRIVERE UNA STORIA BASATA SU UNA STORIA D’AMORE. Come si fa a pensare di poter scrivere di una storia d’amore senza indagate l’animo dei suoi protagonisti?

2. Mancanza di approfondimento psicologico, quindi. In un libro che è lungo 779 pagine lo trovo impossibile, almeno che non si tratti di un manuale sulla criminologia. Ma questo è catalogato tra i romanzi, quindi NOPE, ci devono essere per forza dei sentimenti. E non sto parlando del fatto che Harry continui a dire di amare qualcuno, che l’amore è l’unico motivo per vivere ecc. No, intendo dire che i personaggi, pur essendo visto dal di fuori, devono esprimere almeno nei gesti quelli che provano. Qui nessuna descrizione del genere compare.
Ora, capisco che non si possa leggere nella mente di Harry, essendo già tutto lo scritto dal punto di vista di Marcus. Ma che ci siano almeno le sensazioni di Marcus, e che cavolo! Sei il narratore, esprimi dei pensieri! Il tuo maestro viene incarcerato e tu non esprimi alcun sentimento? Dispiacere, rabbia, rassegnazione, disprezzo, incredulità? Il nulla assoluto?

3. E poi, ti chiedi perché le persone ti guardano male quando lo difendi? Sapendo che un TRENTAQUATTRENNE è stato con una QUINDICENNE e non si è sentito in colpa, se non per un brevissimo periodo di tempo?
Non capisci che la gente non giudica l’idea di assassinio, che ancora non è provato, quanto il rapporto tra un uomo ed una ragazzina che potrebbe essere su figlia? E ti sorprendi? Come se fosse normale. Non siamo più al tempo degli antichi romani, andare a letto con una minorenne è reato. E tu che fai, Marcus? Neanche ne parli con il tuo “delizioso” (pffff) maestro.

3. Per non parlare dell’ego smisurato del protagonista. Ha scritto un libro, ha avuto successo, ha speso tutto quello che ha guadagnato e si lamenta perché, dopo due anni nel lusso, ora non ha più soldi. Si dà il caso, caro mio, che raramente gli scrittori hanno vissuto da pascià grazie alle entrate dei libri. Hai scritto UN libro, non decine di best seller, quindi non ti lamentare se, per avere altri soldi e per continuare la tua vita, prima o poi dovrai lavorare. Se il tuo sogno è vivere di scrittura, e non fare nient’altro come lavoro, non lamentarti poi di un blocco dello scrittore. Perché te lo sei cercato.

4. Quando ho letto Le nebbie di Avalon della Bradley ho odiato il personaggio di Ginevra. È l’unico personaggio che ho detestato dall’inizio alla fine, per la su civetteria, la sua superficialità, la sua stupidità. Ecco, qui tutti i personaggi sono così, odiosi. Le donne/ragazze pensato solo ad accalappiare Harry Quebert perché pensano che sia ricco e perché dovrebbe essere un gran Figo. Nola, la ragazzina, e Jenny, la cameriera, hanno gli occhi foderati di prosciutto, solo lontane anni luce dalla realtà, vivono in un mondo fatato in cui pensano che i LORO desideri comandino le azioni degli altri. Sbagliato. Infatti prima o poi lo capiscono. La madre di Jenny e la madre di Marcus sono da strozzare. Due oche.

5. L’indagine. Oh, signori, l’indagine.
Quando mai la polizia lascia indagare uno SCRITTORE, un pubblico cittadino? Quando mai? Neanche nelle serie tv accade: in Castle lo scrittore deve avere un permesso ed essere SEMPRE accompagnato dagli agenti. Qui no, tutti dicono tutto al nostro carismatico e rompipalle Marcus, così, perché ha un bel faccino. Io boh, non ho parole. Ma poi, scusa eh, ma i poliziotti dove sono? Compaiono sulla scena solo verso la metà del libro. Neanche cercano di fermare Marcus dal ficcare il naso nelle indagini.

6. L’inutilità di intervallare i consigli d’autore con le scene di Marcus che non riesce a scrivere e, ogni tre o quattro pagine, ricordare che “ehi, io starei facendo un’ndagine, scriviamo qualcosa a proposito“. Come se non fosse il soggetto principale del libro.

7. Ammetto che l’ultima ottantina di Pagine è ben fatta. Qui si è visto il volto poliziesco del libro. Però in il libro di 779 pagine non basta.

8. PER FAVORE, se volete scrivere un libro su uno scrittore-detective, non prendere esempio da questo. Fate tutto come volete, ma non copiare questo obbrobrio. Non si può leggere, un accumularsi di conversazioni che non hanno senso, non hanno spessore, non dicono niente, solo vuote parole che possono dire tutto o niente. Corredate da personaggi insipidi, arroganti, bisbetici, presuntuosi, stupidi. Non c’è nessuno che si salvi.

Cavolo! Potevo fare 31 punti, quanti sono i consigli del magnifico Quebert, ma ehi, io ho una vita, e dopo un po’ mi stanco di lamentarmi di un libro, passo avanti, non mi fermo a piangere sul latte versato. Quindi ciao, vado a cercare altri romanzi belli bellissimi che mi facciano chiudere il libro, accarezzare la copertina, sorridere e sospirare. Addio, Marcus Goldman, a mai più rivederci. 👋🏼
Profile Image for Luca Ambrosino.
83 reviews13.7k followers
September 9, 2021
ENGLISH (The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair) / ITALIANO

"Somerset Police. What’s your emergency?"
"Hello? My name is Deborah Cooper. I live on Side Creek Lane. I think I’ve just seen a man running after a girl in the woods."
The present: a promising novelist, Marcus Goldman, deals with his first writer's block. The past: a promising novelist, Harry Quebert, deals with a forbidden love with a 15-year-old girl named Nola. The crux of the matter: past and present are intertwined with the mysterious disappearance of Nola.

Going on with the reading, the feeling is that each resident of Aurora has something to hide. In this respect, Aurora is like Twin Peaks, fictional town of Washington state in which the homonymous cult TV series of the 1990s is set. A little bit of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, a little bit of Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man, so many influences. Not a masterpiece in my opinion, an excellent and enjoyable thriller, though.

Vote: 7,5


"Centrale di polizia, qual'è il suo problema?"
"Mi chiamo Deborah Cooper, abito in Side Creek Lane. Credo di avere appena visto una ragazza inseguita da un uomo nella foresta."
Il presente: un promettente romanziere, Marcus Goldman, alle prese col suo primo blocco dello scrittore. Il passato: un promettente romanziere, Harry Quebert, alle prese con una storia d'amore proibita con una quindicenne di Nome Nola. Il nodo: passato e presente si intrecciano attorno alla misteriosa scomparsa di Nola.

La sensazione che si presenta quando si è avanti con la lettura è che ogni abitante di Aurora ha qualcosa da nascondere. In questo senso Aurora è un po' come Twin Peaks, luogo fittizio nel quale è ambientata l'omonima serie culto degli anni novanta. Un po' di Lolita di Nabokov, un pò di Un uomo solo di Isherwood, le influenze sono tante. Ottimo thriller, che non mi fa gridare al capolavoro, ma che risulta comunque godibilissimo.

Voto: 7,5

Profile Image for Naim Frewat.
179 reviews7 followers
November 5, 2012
I have mixed feelings about this book. The fact that it won the "Prix de l'Académie Francaise" 2012 tips the scales towards disappointment. Then again if I was not intrigued by a crime book that won the said prize, I probably wouldn't have even picked it up.

It is a 660+ pages crime book; that made me quite hesitant to consider it, I just assume there would be unnecessary details and characters and boring repetitiveness. I was wrong about the first two.

The book's back cover states that it is a "reflection on America". I don't know how one understands such a phrase, nevertheless it felt to me a bit too much to qualify the book as such.

It is the story of a first-time successful young writer, Marcus Goldman, struggling to start his second work, who flies to the rescue of his mentor, the great Harry L. Quebert. Quebert is arrested and accused of the murder of the 15-year old Nola Kellergan, whose body (or the remains of it) is discovered 33 years (2008) after her disappearance (1975) from a small New Hampshire town, Aurora.

The book's front cover is a painting by Edward Hopper, one of my favorite painters, "Portrait of Orleans", and this book is certainly a portrait of Aurora. The inhabitants of Aurora seem typical of any small village; endowed with the natural virtues and vices and small-town life; they are friendly, nosy about each other's affairs, yet understanding, even respectful, of each other's privacy (if such a privacy exists in a small village), and as is the case in any small town, and especially those described in crime novels, newcomers almost always carry a deeper past with them.

Though the book is more action than description, yet the characters and the events occuring in the past are chronicled in such a way that one feels as if he was part of that fateful 1975 summer.

What felt a bit unsettling, in my opinion, was that the recalling of past events did not create in me this feeling of mystery one anxiously anticipates following the deep-digging in crime novels. I even felt that the paths that led our amateur detective-writer to snatch bits of truths about what happened from the dwellers of Aurora were too "programmed"; it was as if people awaited in their houses, or diners, or stores for the arrival of Marcus to recount him in precision what happened 33 years earlier. Over the lifespan of the book, I could count rare occasions in which characters seemed suspicious, or wary or cautious of the questions and deductions thrown-in by Marcus Goldman.

As the case is closed, every little twist of events is lucidly narrated by Goldman/Dicker so much that the imagination of the reader is left thirsty. This is because, throughout the book, Dicker retells the events from the perspective each and every actor directly or indirectly related to the crime, which generates so many overlapping narratives leaving no room for guesswork.

As the detective-writer finds himself entangled in the twists and turns of the book he is simultaneously writing, the reader is offered an entrance to the world of book publishing; there is a most revealing chapter of the book, chapter 6, that completely takes the charm out of the book publishing process. Nevertheless, it is revealed in such a way that I found it quite funny to read.

Overall, I enjoyed the book; it is an easy read of the simple lives of simple people in an average small town. I particularly appreciated that an author can still up an addictive crime novel without the bells and whistles of forensic science and technology, and rely on the simplicity of the characters to elucidate the mystery.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,356 followers
May 8, 2022
أعمالنا تحددنا بقدر ما نحدد نحن أعمالنا
فهل قسوة تجربتك الإنسانية تجعل كتاباتك اقوي؟
ام ان موهبتك وحدها تكفي لتتالق و انت محبوس في جزيرتك الخاصة؟
هاري كيوبيرت مدرس و كاتب يقرر ان يذهب لبلدة ساحلية نائية ليكتب روايته الثانية؛
و هناك يعامله اهل البلدة كالابطال الفاتحين؛ و يدللونه؛ و لا يتفاعل معهم حقاً الا سطحياً عدا نولا
فتاة في الخامسة عشر؛ تحاصره بحبها و اهتمامها لنبدأ قصة تشويق معقدة تبدا و تنتهي في شهرين صاخبين بالأحداث؛ و نسمع تفاصيها من الكاتب و هو متهم بقتل الفتاة بعد ٣٣ من لقاؤهما و يحاول تلميذه الكاتب الشاب ان ينقذه
هي الجرايم لماذا لا تسقط في الغرب ابدا؟
هل يصح او طبيعي ان اجد ان كل المشكوك فيهم مابين الستين و التسعين؟
رواية شايبة جدا
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.6k followers
July 18, 2017
MANNY: Hello and welcome back to our continuing coverage of Let's Trash Joël Dicker Week. With me in the studio, I have three experts who are going to offer us their diverse viewpoints on Dicker's controversial bestseller La Verité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert. I'm happy to introduce Manny and Manny--

MANNY: Good afternoon.

MANNY: Delighted to be here.

MANNY: --and, last but not least, Manny's girlfriend, who is going to try to introduce a note of sanity to the proceedings.

MANNY: I'm sorry, Not couldn't make it. She's asked me to stand in for her.

MANNY: I'm sure you'll do a fine job. Alright, who's first?

MANNY: Well, as I've said, this book is simply an insult to the reader. The miserable writing, the stilted dialogue, the ridiculous, clichéd characters, the--

MANNY: Yes, yes, yes. Can't we--

MANNY: Manny, please let Manny finish.

MANNY: -- and the fact that the Académie Française saw fit to put their seal of approval on this monstrosity shows the complete bankruptcy of French culture and demonstrates clearly that their pretentions to lead the world of--

MANNY: I've changed my mind. Manny, let's hear what you think.

MANNY: But I haven't got to the--

MANNY: I said that's enough. Manny, over to you.

MANNY: Thank you Manny. Well, with all due respect to Manny, I think he's missing the point. The "bad writing", as he describes it, is part of a coherent plan. A philosophy, one might almost say.

MANNY: Philosophy! Jesus Christ, just listen to him. Manny, you're so full of--

MANNY: Manny, let Manny go on.

MANNY: Thank you Manny. Yes, a philosophy. If you look at page 347 of the French edition, note 15, "Avant la tempête", you'll see--

MANNY: Do we need to listen to this crap?

MANNY: I'm afraid we do. Manny, ignore him.

MANNY: As I was saying. We have a very significant passage here. I quote:
- "Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez ?"
- "C'est pas mal. Mais je crois que vous prêtez trop d'importance aux mots."
- "Les mots? Mais c'est important quand on écrit, non ?"
- "Oui et non. Le sens du mot est plus important que le mot en lui-même."
- "Eh bien, un mot est un mot et les mots sont à tout le monde. Il vous suffit d'ouvrir un dictionnaire--"
MANNY: Could you just summarise?

MANNY: Oh, if you insist. The author, through his mouthpiece Quebert, explains that words aren't important. You can use any words, you just look them up in a dictionary. What's important is establishing a relationship with the reader. You use a word a lot, and after a while the reader associates the word with your book and with you. And that's what being a writer is all about.

MANNY: Does he really say that?!

MANNY: Look it up yourself.

MANNY: But, but this is--

MANNY: I'd like to hear what Not thinks.

MANNY: She isn't here.

MANNY: Remember, you're filling in for her?

MANNY: Oh, right. Not enough sex?

MANNY: Come on, Manny, try harder. What would Not say?

MANNY: No idea.

MANNY: What would Not say as a woman?

MANNY: I haven't the slightest notion of what you're getting at.

MANNY: What would Not say as a woman with feminist sympathies?

MANNY: But Not doesn't -- ow!

MANNY: That's right Manny, twist his arm a little harder.

MANNY: You crazy bastards! Manny, let go of me!

MANNY: You were going to explain Not's feminist take on this passage.

MANNY: I -- ow!! -- I think she'd -- ow! --

MANNY: A bit louder please, we can't hear you.

MANNY: Power relationships! Patriarchy! Literature as a form of -- Jesus Christ, can't you see I'm trying to cooperate here?

MANNY: A form of...?

MANNY: Rape! A form of rape!

MANNY: Well, we can't have that, can we?

[The phone rings]

MANNY: Hello? [pause] Ah, I'm not sure-- [pause] No, I don't think-- [pause] Oh, all right, I'll put you on speakerphone.

NOT: --me dead! Are you all completely fucking insane! I never said one fucking word of--

MANNY: [putting phone down] As you can see, the female member of the panel agrees in all particulars. So, I think that's it for today, and a very successful day it's been too--

MANNY: Yes, I've just received news that the Académie Française has withdrawn its recommendation--

MANNY: --the publisher has recalled all copies of Harry Quebert and will pulp them--

MANNY: --and the author has committed suicide.

MANNY: Nice work team. Okay, that's it for Let's Trash Joël Dicker Week and thank you very much for joining us. Next week, don't miss the start of our Stephenie Meyer series.
Profile Image for Lelena.
208 reviews32 followers
July 9, 2019
Brutto. Aiutami a dire brutto.
Il peggiore libro di sempre. L'ho già detto che è brutto?
700 pagine di nulla scritto male + 50 pagine di giallo inverosimile (e brutto).
Da che parte iniziare? Dall'impianto narrativo che vuole essere rivoluzionario e ficcare a forza il libro nel libro perciò va avanti e indietro, avanti e indietro a colpi di flash back. L'effetto dopo un centinaio di pagine è lo stesso che si potrebbe avere affrontando la salita dello Stelvio sul sedile dietro in pullman al contrario messaggiando sul telefono: chinetosi.
La storia non c'è per i 21/22 del libro, inutile cercarne una parvenza.
I personaggi, la parte più interessante (e sono ironica, l'ho detto che il libro è brutto?). Mediamente hanno lo spessore della carta velina, agiscono senza coerenza e imbastiscono dialoghi sul nulla (i dialoghi sono tremendi, davvero).
Il giallo non è un giallo: non semina indizi, non permette un'indagine o una riflessione al lettore: le cose capitano per caso senza un filo logico. Il problema principale, infatti, sta nell'incapacità dell'autore di seguire l'impianto narrativo scelto: il risultato sono ripetizioni e, contemporaneamente, buchi narrativi.
Riassumendo: un compitino autocompiaciuto pieno di boria mal eseguito. In una parola, ditelo voi...
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