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All Things Cease to Appear

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  10,235 ratings  ·  1,643 reviews
A dark, riveting, beautifully written book—by “a brilliant novelist” according to Richard Bausch—that combines noir and the gothic in a story about two families entwined in their own unhappiness, with, at its heart, a gruesome and unsolved murder.

Late one winter afternoon in upstate New York, George Clare comes home to find his wife killed and their three-year-old daughter
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  10,235 ratings  ·  1,643 reviews

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Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book is 400 pages long. There are no quotation marks used. Ever. Therefore, there is not only no indication from sentence to sentence of what is spoken, but often there is no indication of who is speaking (call me crazy, but I need this information to follow the story)...and there are clunky, abrupt transitions of past and present and points of view. This made for a challenging and somewhat painful reading experience for me. This book was very well-written, just in desperate need of better ...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is almost impossible to describe, though it starts with a horrific murder, so since I am feeling creative today I have decided to compare this book to fishing. Not fly fishing but the lazy kind of fishing where you spend the morning waiting for the fish to bite. The place I fish is beautiful, just as the land where the farmhouse sits that the Clares buy is absolutely breathtaking. I am hopeful that this will be a wonderful fishing day, the picture of the Clares with their three year ol ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
George says, (while opening the front door), "Hello, Paul", shaking his hand, "I'm sorry for your loss"!

If you just discovered your wife -murdered -
....yes, you spent 5 hours at the police station immediately after...
had a night's sleep ( if that's what it's called)...
would you be be so kind to consider your wife's sister, ( Agnes), husband's feelings?
REALLY? So soon? Get Real! It wouldn't enter your mind to say "sorry for you loss,
So...I'm already thinking 'ea
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

Things Heard & Seen, a thriller film based on this novel , premieres on Netflix this Thursday, April 29. I read this book in 2017 and found it to be unique with an unputdownable second half. I think this will make a terrific movie and can't wait!

This brooding, atmospheric story opens in 1979 when George Clare, a university professor, comes home from work to find his wife murdered in their bed, an ax to the head, and their toddler, Fanny, alone in the house. The marriage was not a happy o
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea Humphrey
Many thanks to Netgalley for supplying my copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.

3.5 stars. As we are traveling and I am on the app, I will come back later and put in any links needed.

When I saw this author had a new book coming out I was all over it. One of her previous novels, The Doctor's Wife, is on my all time favorites list and still lingers with me. I've also enjoyed two of her other books. This one was a good enough read, but somehow seemed to fall a bit short from her others.
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing

5.0 STARS … Catherine Clare, you make my heart sing!

This novel is a narcotic! It altered my state of mind. It sucked me in from the very first sentence on the very first page and never relinquished its grip, long after the story came to a close! Perhaps it was my familiarity with many of the upstate NY cities and small, rural towns mentioned in the book. Or maybe it was my intense connection with so many of the characters that held such a sway over my emotions. Perhaps it was a siren call of lin
One of my best reads of the year. Characters were portrayed so real you wanted to call them and asked them to stop by, or run next door to borrow a cup of sugar. Those were my friends over the last few days. My heart dropped to my stomach each time one of them got hurt, abused, depressed, or murdered.
On top of that, this book includes the most memorable "ghost scene" ever. While reading this particular part I was alone in the attic bedroom of a large house, rain and thunder outside and it was 0
This is a sprawling atmospheric thriller which at its heart is about a dysfunctional and disintegrating marriage, ghosts and two families. George Clare comes home to his farmhouse to find his wife horrifically murdered and Frannie, his toddler daughter untended. George is a suspect, but the police struggle to find the killer.

Justice appears to be an elusive commodity and it takes a long time coming. What we have is a picture of a malevolent farmhouse, and the tragedies that have befallen the Cl
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-audible
****4.5 Stars****
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book impressed me. It's the first book I've read by this author and I am sure it will not be the last.

It reads in its trailer as if it were a mystery genre. But I would say this is crossover to a high literary and psychological standard- quite apart from the intersects and asides that have hide and seek mixtures upon the arts. Arts of painting, music and weaving at the least. There's an attempt that moves and emotes farther than the scope of a mystery genre. Or a psychological thriller of a
I could not put this one down. It was an audiobook, and very well done (I hear the book has no quotation marks, so if that bothers you, audio may be your answer!). We know from early on that the wife is bludgeoned to death in her bed, but honestly I was flummoxed as to who did it. For sure, there were suspects, the husband always being the obvious first choice in these cases; but I had another one or two in mind as well. I won't give it away, although I have found many reviews on GR that do tell ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this down! ...more
Atmospheric character portraits, with a touch of the supernatural. Well-constructed setting and interesting insights, but dry, plodding story.

The trick to hiding something, she’d told him once, is to put it right out in plain sight.

1979; Chosen, New York. The Pratts are eating dinner when there is a knock on the door. It is their neighbor George Clare with Franny, his toddler daughter. When he came home from work, he found his wife Catherine in bed with an ax to the head. George says he was
Dana ****Reads Alot****
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Review to come. A lot to absorb. So good but so sad.

Telling about a book takes away from reading the book yourself. I'm not going to say much about the story but this book has to be my favorite of all time. And I have liked a lot of books but this book will stay in my mind for a very long time. This is the first time reading a book by this author.

George and Catherine Clare with their three yr old daughter Frannie move into an old farm house that has dark history of something horrendous happening
Linda Strong
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was so excited when I won this from First To Read. Although the few reviews I looked at were mixed, it sounded like it would be at least a pretty good psychological story.

George Clare, a college professor, goes home one day to find his wife murdered and his 3-year-old daughter alone in her room.

It seems like there was very little action, nothing to keep my mind riveted on the story. There was much I didn't care for .... a man stomping a deer to death is one instance. The police seemed incompe
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved every minute of this book about two tragic families, first the Hale family and then the Clare family. I didn’t want the book to end but I feel the story will haunt my heart and mind for some time to come so it's not really out of my life yet.

George Clare appears at his neighbor’s home one day, carrying his 3-yr-old daughter, Frannie, telling them that something has happened to his wife. Catherine has been murdered and little Frannie left unattended in the house with her dead mother. So s
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is the story of past and present. A foreclosed farm is bought by a college professor and his wife. Later, the wife is murdered in the home. The story toggles between the prior farm family that lived there and the new owners. The farm family, the Hales, are a sorry lot. A husband who drinks, gambles and cheats, the wife that loves him and tolerates everything he puts her through, his three sons. The Clares aren't much better.

I appreciated the way the author shows the contrast and parallels
Apr 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I could not finish this book, but I made it a little more than half-way through. It moved much too slowly for me, and I was bothered by the fact that a character was described as wearing a Guns N Roses t-shirt in 1978. Guns N Roses did not come together as a band until 1985.
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Edit I have bumped this Title up to five stars after thinking after reflection.

All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
I gave this book four stars because the ending was rushed and too neatly tied up in a bow.
The more I think about it the crime could have been solved if the circumstances were non-fiction. (If this crime took place in reality instead of a literary work).
Elizabeth Brundage holds a MFA from the prestigious University of Iowa's writer's workshop. I have high expectations of
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Like all works of art, there are some which you can acknowledge as appealing without being otherwise enraptured or drawn in to the world they portray. This is one such. Brundage has a lyrical, crafted style that strongly evokes a sense of place and person. Yet her choice not to use speech marks, while not confusing because of the separate line spacing, sometimes made the words all run together as if Mrs Dalloway were reading it to me. Added to the musicality of the language, it felt singsongy in ...more
Book Riot Community
There have been some fantastic thrillers released this year. Like this one, about a man named George Clare who arrives home to find his wife murdered and their toddler all alone. George and his family had just recently moved into the home, and the local cops immediately make him the top suspect. But three brothers who formerly lived in the Clare house may know something about what happened. This is a solid psychological thriller that delivers.

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things
Martie Nees Record
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
So many different thoughts went through my mind while reading this novel. First, I resigned myself to read another contemporary thriller (not my fav) that needs to be reviewed. Then early in the book I thought “this is very well written,” more literary than bestseller-like. Next, the story became Gothic, a genre I do enjoy. Plus, it also has a noir feel which is another genre that I love to get lost in. So, to my surprise, I am pleased that I read this book. It is not until the very end of the s ...more
I am really unsure how to characterize this book. The book starts off with a murder and you don't know who did it, so it could be a mystery/thriller. But the book is very character driven, not plot driven, so you really get into the minds of several different characters, including briefly a couple of dead ones, and it's not much of a suspense novel at all. I just know that I really liked this book. The end was definitely tidied up much too neatly with the daughter, and I wish there was more of a ...more
Jennifer Ohlsson
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
VERY well written and many heartbreaking storylines. GEORGE CLARE CAN DIE IN A TIRE FIRE!

I HATED his character with a passion.

This isn't a useful review, but I just had to get that out there.
"Beauty depends on the unseen, the visible upon the invisible".
Are you going to tell me what that means? she smiled, batting her eyelashes.
Literal translation: what we see depends on what we don't see. It's something Innes called the reality of the unseen--a person's spiritual truth.

I was interested to read this book after seeing the trailer of the adaption that is on Netflix. I have an interest in ghosts and haunting but not particularly horror or thrillers. This book has all the aspects I lov
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: Ann
This starts off like any good mystery should (with a grisly murder - shortly after moving into a 'haunted' old farm house, someone put an axe in Catherine Clare's head), but evolves into more of a study of characters and relationships, mixed in with a little ghost story.

Things that bothered me a little:
1) the author dispensed of quotation marks - I found this really annoying, especially the first 1/3 of the book. I got more used to it as the book went on, but I still didn't like it and I just wo
Rheama Heather
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a cold February morning in 1970 something, a young mother is murdered in her farmhouse bed. She’s executed in a most sensational manner - with an ax to the head. From that point on, the devil’s in the details of Catherine and George’s strained marriage, few friendships, and their home’s haunted history.

If this book were a piece of art (and it is, I think), it would be an extreme close up of an unrecognizable object, magnified a thousand times. Then the image would slowly zoom out until we rea
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who Like Suspense a Bit Mensa
A Savage Sketching of Psychosis in Focus [4.1 stars]

This book was adrenalizing and refreshing in its breakaway from the mold of the formulaic, brain-numbing books of the genre. Oh, you know the ones, their authors are well-known and dependable... at writing pretty good stories that keep you reading on the plane and leave you the moment you chunk 'em in the airport garbage. Hey, if that's your bag, more power to ya, but you should not buy this book.

The novel lacerates with its sharp intensity, b
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Oh man, I just loved this book (as much as anyone can love something that's as disturbing as this book occasionally was). I finished it over a week ago and am STILL thinking about it.

All Things Cease to Appear is billed as a "literary thriller," and I found it to be far more literary than thriller. Sure, the book begins with a gruesome murder, and spends the next 380 pages trying to show readers how it could have happened...but this is SO much more than a standard whodunit story. It's
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Who is the Killer? 1 79 Apr 11, 2016 05:35AM  

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ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE is the author of five novels including The Vanishing Point and All Things Cease to Appear which was a WSJ Best Mystery of 2016, a NY Times Editor's Choice, and the basis for the Netflix movie Things Heard and Seen. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, where she received a James Michener Award, and attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Her writing has ap ...more

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