The Wych Elm
For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.
One night changes everything for Toby. A brutal attack leaves him traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He see...more
I waited so anxiously for this book and started devouring it, but had to set it aside from…moreYou'll be disappointed, if my experience holds true for you.
I waited so anxiously for this book and started devouring it, but had to set it aside from time to time because the repetition was so mind-numbing. The main character is shallow and unlikeable. The first 4 chapters went on forever. Then, about a quarter of the way past the turning point, I knew who did it. The final "event" -- after the reveal -- came across as impossible, not necessarily because of Toby's character, but because of the character of the other person.
I don't want to nitpick some other things because I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but there are other unlikely points. But overall, the book is way too long (don't just go by pages; the type is very small).
So what if it's beautifully written if it's beautifully written bullshit? With sadness, I gave it two stars.
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I keep trying to convince myself to bump this up a star because it's hard to believe Tana French can write anything that isn't amazing. It's definitely not a bad book, but The Witch Elm - French's first standalone outside of her Dublin Murder Squad series - just didn't contain a lot of the stuff I've loved from this author.
To start with, I fee ...more
Explanation of rating: I had 5-star expectations for The Witch Elm--Tana French is one of my favorite authors and while I haven’t loved all of her books, I really enjoyed the most recent installments of the Murder Squad series. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met. There were parts of the Witch Elm that I loved, but others not so much.
It’s hard to describe The Witch Elm--it’s part mystery, part thriller, part family drama. Prim ...more
if you celebrate christmas, read it in line as you last-minute shop. if you do not, enjoy it with all the free time not having to worry about mulberries and double-sided tape and trees going up in flames affords you.
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best mystery & thriller 2018! what will happen?
oh, it will lose ...more
Luck. Toby has never really considered his, until now. He’s always had an easy go of things, able to talk himself out of any potential trouble or situation with his easy charm. But, Toby’s luck has changed overnight. First, he gets into serious trouble with his boss, then his home is broken into, and he is beaten within an inch of his life.
While his parents and faithful, adoring girlfriend are rock solid support systems, Toby is i ...more
There is something about the feeling I get before reading another Tana French novel that calms me and makes me want to sit in a big old comfy chair, with a cushy pillow and a lush blankie surrounding me. I just know that I’m going to be settling in for an in-depth read with highly intelligent, well thought out, interesting characters and I immediately prepare myself. I grab a nice warm cuppa and before I know it, hours have gone by and I am in the thick of it. Such was ...more
However, somewhere during his 29th year, he entered into his personal time of Job, where he was tested on every front and since part of that was a burglary of his apartment where he suffered serious injury, he could no longer rely on his wits to carry him through. He was forced t ...more
.... safe to read....
It’s a sin to spoil a Tana French novel.
I’ve been reading Tana French since 2007. My memory is clear...I walked into “Borders” looking around...
“Into the Woods” was a new release. I had never heard of the author - but liked what the inside flap said, took a blind chance, bought it... came home and inhaled it instantly. I became an ‘annoying’ book pusher.
I was telling strangers off the street about the new mystery-thriller author Tana French and her amazing ch ...more
Amicable Toby is a happy-go-lucky guy who fancies himself as one the "The Lucky Ones." He has a great job, although he did create a major mess there - but he sorted out his mess so it's all good. He has an amazing girlfriend to whom he is faithful, except for a bit of a roving eye. And he has two terrific mates who love him, at least he thinks they do. But Toby's luck is about to change when he is brutally beaten and robbed i ...more
The real mystery begins halfway through the book when a skull is found in a tree cavity by one of the grandkids. But perhaps the mystery started much earlier in the boo ...more
I’m getting a bit tired of unreliable narrators, this seems to be a trend lately. Toby is about as unreliable as you can get since he has suffered a severe brain injury right at the beginning of the story. It all starts, as he states, on the night that he walked home from the pub to his house quite drunk and went to bed without turning on the door alarm ...more
A superficially likable and self-absorbed main character, Toby, encounters his first care in the world. Well, I’ll cut him some slack. His fortunate circumstances aren’t his fault nor his credit. But no, the more I know him the less that I like him.
I know! He is severely injured from a brutal beating during home invasion burglary and only saved from death by receiving superb medical care ...more
I spent a long time struggling over this review. I hate insulting my favorite authors. They feel like my friends and I’m betraying them. I ADORE Tana French. In the Woods is one of my all-time favorite mysteries. However, it pains me to say that The Witch Elm, just didn’t do it for me.
The Witch Elm deviates from the Dublin Murder Squad construct. In it, Toby, a 20-something art gallery worker, is the victim of a brutal burglary in which he’s left for dead. A severe head injury leaves ...more
“These are doctors. I don’t know what kind of social‑ justice‑warrior shite you’ve been reading, but their job is to make people better, if they can. Which sometimes they can’t. That doesn’t mean they’re evil villains rubbing their hands and looking for ways to fuck up people’s lives.”
🌟 Have you ever watched a TV series or a film and you knew from the start it is not just for you, but it was interesting enough to make ...more
Oh man, I was so excited for this one. When I saw it as an auto download I nearly screamed before hitting that button. I even gushed to my Goodreads friends to hurry up and grab a copy.
Ooops. My bad.
Tana French is a skilled writer without a doubt but this book went on and on and on and on and on. The pacing was slow as molasses. I honestly don't care about anything that's happening or the people it is happening to.
Maybe my timin ...more
This is my first DNF for the year!! :(
My thoughts so far:
Why did you write such a boring character Tana French?!
I don't care for the main character of Toby and the story is boring. I know there is a mystery coming up but I don't care at this point. I'm not sure why she wrote a 500 page book and it takes until the 1/2 way point of the book to get to the mystery.
I can understand character development but not when it's 200+ pages of it an ...more
The two starting points for inspiration on this book are Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? and the idea of: what if your protagonist was a guy who has never had to work hard for anything in his life? And then you swirl those ideas around for a while in your brain, and out pops a kernel of an idea, which ...more
I've been awaiting this Tana French book since it was available for pre-order since her Dublin Murder Squad books are some of my favorite things. I almost canceled my pre-order when I saw this was a standalone but s ...more
The Witch Elm is a slow burner and I honestly had difficulty getting into this one due to the slow build up to the story. Smooth talking Toby Hennessy is left for dead when two bu ...more
This is definitely a slow burn of a novel. But boy does it build up to a pretty explosive ending—probably more than any other Tana French novel I've read. I don't think this would be a particularly great place to start with French's work, even though it stands totally free from her Dublin Murder Squad series. However, it definitely has the same bones as those novels, but it just feels different in tone. Her characters in this as far less likable, which I didn't mind at all. And she's ...more
This standalone novel is unlike any of Tana French’s previous books (the Dublin Murder Squad series). There is a murder and a mystery, but this is a slow burn, a deep dive character study where we spend most of the time wrapped up in Toby’s thought processes.
Toby suffers a traumatic brain injury and goes to his uncle’s home, Ivy House, to recuperate and help his aunt care for his terminally ill uncle. ...more
Nothing like good ol’ human remains to make you sit up &am ...more
Watch me discuss this book in my November wrap up: https://youtu.be/vzYX9EeZvRs
Listen to me and Katie do a spoiler-filled discussion of the book in this episode of Read or Dead: https://bookriot.com/listen/poor-tom-...
This is a standalone Tana French novel – the first she's written that isn't part of the Dublin Murder Squad series. It's the story of Toby, a real golden boy: wealthy, handsome, popular and charming, with a loving girlfriend, close family and cushy job, he seems to have everything going for him. That all changes one night when he surprises a pair of burglars in his living room. When he attempts to confront them, Toby is savagely beaten and left with a li ...more
|Title spelling? Doesn't make sense to me||4||37||Jul 02, 2019 06:18PM|
|Bookworm Bitches : June 2019: The Witch Elm||5||96||Jun 29, 2019 04:56AM|
|Not impressed at all||1||20||May 15, 2019 07:36PM|
|Crime, Mysteries ...: The Witch Elm by Tana Fench (no spoilers) - January 2019||14||71||Jan 31, 2019 09:43PM|
|Crime, Mysteries ...: The Witch Elm by Tana Fench (spoilers permitted) - January 2019||12||150||Jan 31, 2019 09:22PM|
|Mystery/Thriller ...: Group Read - The Witch Elm Ch 10-13 End Spoilers Welcome||18||239||Nov 13, 2018 07:17PM|