Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lying Tongue” as Want to Read:
The Lying Tongue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lying Tongue

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  427 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Fresh from finishing university in England, Adam Woods arrives in Venice to begin a new chapter in his life. He soon secures employment as the personal assistant of Gordon Crace -- a famous expatriate novelist who makes his home in a dank and crumbling palazzo, surrounded by fabulous works of art, piles of unanswered correspondence and the memories of his former literary g ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Atria Books (first published 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lying Tongue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lying Tongue

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 746)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Will Byrnes
Adam Wood has just graduated from college and has arranged to go to Venice to teach a rich local English. In return he will have a place to stay and much free time in which to pursue his dream of writing a novel. That deal falls through on arrival, but he finds instead Gordon Crace (there has to be a pun on the word disgrace in there somewhere) an eccentric Brit, author of a best-seller in his 30’s, now living a Howard Hunt existence in a filth-caked house, not writing any more. In fact, that on ...more
Donna
In old Venice, in the days before refrigeration, wine was kept in cool, shadowy places where the sun never penetrated (caves being out of the question, of course, in that water-logged city). In The Lying Tongue, Andrew Wilson mentions this arcane fact, perhaps because it is just such places in modern Venice that he has used for the setting of his novel.

This book is aptly described as a "psychological thriller." Sneaking a letter out of a mailbox, a furtive phone call--these aren’t generally the
...more
Ivan
I only read about this novel last Friday. The cover photograph caught my eye. Then I read what the book was about and that the author is the acclaimed biographer of Patricia Highsmith - a favorite. I knew I had to read it. I rushed out and found a copy and devoured it over the weekend.

Recently graduated from University, would be novelist Adam Woods can't believe his good fortune in landing a position as personal assistant to the reclusive writer Gordon Crace. Crace is an enigmatic figure. Forty
...more
Gerry
A thriller with a gothic feel about it (even the cover of this edition gives off a kind of gothic atmosphere) that flits between London, Venice, London and Venice again.

For various reasons, some of which become clear later in the book, Adam Woods wanted to get away from London and applied for a job as an English teacher to an Italian family. However, it fell through but the family recommended that he try for a job with a one-time author Gordon Crace, who was looking for a general factotum having
...more
Andrea
May 27, 2008 Andrea rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the literary thriller
Adam Wood is a young Brit who's moved to Venice to try and write a novel. He ends up working for Gordon Crace, a reclusive writer. Adam discovers that Gordon is not all he seems and sets off to find out more.

Sounds boring but I'm trying not to give away too much. Let's just say that Adam Wood is not all that he seems either, and our discovery of his less-than-wholesomeness draws you in the same way a car crash by the side of the road slows all the traffic down as everyone cranes their necks out
...more
Carol
This book was a descriptive great mystery ala hitchcock set in Venice. It has all the great elements with wonderful plot twists at the end, some art history thrown in and english boarding school antics to boot. I wouldn't say it's the best read ever, but I will say that I couldn't put this book down and was hooked till the END.

The author is a huge fan of Patricia Highsmith and it shows---in fact, he's even written a biography on her and I think that's next on the list.
Thomas Walsh
This is a tightly-packed and surprising murder mystery. The main chanracter fools us. The wrong people seem to die. You don't really know who to believe. And, the writing sytle makes all this happen. I read it through the weekend, wish lots of "O No!" and "It can't be" coming out of my brain. I read one page and I was hooked!
Margaret Barnes
A psychological thriller by the author of Mad Girls Love Song, a biography of Sylvia Plath. When Adam Woods becomes the personal assistant of Gordon Crace,he sees a way of furthering his own career as a writer by writing the biography of his employer. As he, unknown to Crace, researches Craces past, he learns about the scandal that brought Crace to Venice and the reason Crace has only written one bestselling novel. The two men play a game of cat and mouse with each other until the bitter end.
As
...more
Jeanne
a suspensful book..but the ending left something to be desired. not really sure how crace knows everything adam has done. but a good read.
Sherry (sethurner)
"Wherever I went I saw a question mark at the heart of the city."

This first sentence is intriguing, but don't let that fool you. There isn't much intriguing in this novel. I chose it because we're headed to Venice next month, and I wanted to read a novel set there. The idea of the plot is fine. Adams Woods is a young English man who arrives in Venice to teach English to an Italian couple's son. When that falls through he gets another job as personal assistant to a British writer, Gordon Crace. A
...more
Karen
Andrew Wilson is the author of a highly renowned biography of Patricia Highsmith and THE LYING TONGUE is his début novel. In an interesting move the author starts his first novel with the comment "This is not the book I wanted to write. This is not how it was supposed to be at all." All I can say is if he writes what he wants to write and it turns out as good as this one, then bring on the next novel.

Adam Woods is a young man with a degree in Art History and a vague desire to write a novel. With
...more
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
Aug 26, 2008 Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" by: B&N Mystery Book Club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cecilia
Oct 11, 2007 Cecilia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: favorites
A great mystery set in the always-mysterious city of Venice and filled with enough dreary, dark images to last for three books. Author Andrew Wilson does a fabulous job of setting the perfect stage for his potential crimes...we get pulled in right from the first few pages. The plot involves a British young man, Adam Woods, who is determined to write his novel. He gets a job offer in Venice and sees this as the perfect opportunity to spend his free time writing. Once in Venice, the job turns out ...more
Amy
So, this is one of those books you read for the things that are revealed, and to see if you can guess what's coming. You're given two characters, one old and one young, neither of whom are what they seem, and the setting of Venice, which in this case is rather creepy, given that most of the time we're trapped in a claustrophobic palazzo with the two duelling characters. Lots of detail on Italian art in the beginning, such as disemboweled saints, practically buy the reader a clue that this book i ...more
Anna
The characters were all wrong. The main character had no motivation, he was apathetic about EVERYTHING, and by page 40, we still had no idea what his name was or the overarching goal of the story. Despite the lying, violent plotting, and murderous rage that occurs during this part of the book, it dragged, and I think Wilson’s use of a first-person narrator contributed to that. The one thing that made it so difficult for me to finish the book was that Adam had not one redeeming quality. I couldn’ ...more
Suzanne Cooper
Adam Woods goes to Venice after college to work & write his novel. He ends up working & being a companion to an aging writer with a mysterious past. As Adam is intrigued by his employer & begins to research him for his book ~ instead ~ the plot thickens ~ loops & turns into a creepy Hitchcock fashion. Startling, surprise ending. Interesting.
Andreea
Ultimele cateva pagini m-au tinut mai in priza decat a facut-o tot restul cartii. Final indubitabil neasteptat, fiind exact ceea ce urmaresc de la un thriller bun. Autorul sfarama orice presupunere pe care ar putea face-o cititorul in timpul lecturii si lasa un deznodamant crud al jocului de-a soarecele si pisica pe post de final.
Iris
omigoodness - loving this book right now! can't wait to finish!

update: this book was good and has become one of my favorite books of the year. i love the atmosphere of the old crumbling palazzo filled with old tapestry and artworks. the elderly-eccentric Crace who is an author - famous for writing only one book had something to hide and Adam Woods, a young man there to work as his houskeeper/companion from London thought he was so slick in his research and trying to find his secrets.

The Lying To
...more
Dr. Castillo
OMG....the twists in the story were clever. Easy read!! I am left on edge to know what happened to Adam in the true end. Definitely one of those books that makes you say "that is what you get to the main character…" the way things back-fired on him were unexpected but we'll deserved lol ...one of those Karma is a true......hope there is a sequel.
Tory
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kyle Gio
TWISTED. DISTURBING. FAST-PACED.

The whole plot was amazing, I don't know why this book isn't that popular. Though, there were some parts which felt a little flat, this suspence/mystery book can be compared with Dan Brown's pre-Robert Langdon books.

Adam, a fresh graduate from London, went to Venice to leave his past and start a new life and write a novel. But when he arrives, all his plans change and he meets an eccentric, former best-selling author, Gordon Crace, to take him as a personal assist
...more
Heather
This one grew on me. The start was fine, but the middle third of the book dragged on with too much description. The plot line works well with the eventual outcome, but at some point, you wondered if the kid was even going to make it back to Venice and if the plot was going to end without a reunion with Crace. The last third was suspenseful, but I disagree with the review/summary that said readers would be surprised by the ending - the details sure, the premise, no. I felt the setting in Venice w ...more
Aaron Kuehn
Wow! I’ve never read anything like this before. Very different and an ending that was an honest surprise. It follows a recent college graduate who isn’t quite sure what to do with himself. He knows he wants to write the novel that’s in us all, but he needs an inspiring location and time. So he agrees to be a help-mate to an elderly, dying, recluse of an author. They become very close friends and his own book moves to the back burner so he can take advantage of his unique access to his benefactor ...more
Mary Wagner
I'm quite up in the air on this book. While it dragged at times, and I didn't really like any of the characters, I was still interested in how the book would be resolved. The book had the potential to be very good, but I felt it fell flat in terms of dialogue and some details. This is a bit contradictory, as I felt that it was long-winded, so I typically wouldn't want more details, but there were parts that needed greater explanation.

I can perhaps provide an explanation for the lack of greater d
...more
somecandytalking
I did not enjoy this novel. Though the basic plot line is intriguing, Andrew Wilson does little to dazzle the reader. His characters all speak with the same diction and rhythm making the dialogue monotonous. Wilson makes it impossible for the reader to sympathize with any of the characters because their actions are not admirable or redemptive in any way. This would not be a serious flaw if it were obvious that Wilson had intended for his characters to appear as creepy and jaded however, to me, i ...more
Jessica
This is one of those rare books that straddles the line between erudite and fun! When Adam graduates from university in England, he decides to take on a tutoring job in Venice so he has time to work on his novel. When that falls through, he decides to work for reclusive, idiosyncratic former best-selling author Gordon Crace, whose past everyone wants to unlock. Adam sees this as his chance to find out about Crace's scandalous past and takes on a new writing project: writing Crace's biography. Th ...more
Jennifer
Better than (and not what) I expected, but I grabbed it from the library because I thought it was about Venice, and it really isn't, at all - barely even set there.
Laurie Mastrolia
Had the feel of an old Alfred Hitchcock story...a bit unsettling and on the odd side. Not quite what I was expecting. I have to admit the ending, which didn't end, left me a bit unnerved. I think both of the main characters, Adam and Crace, were on the insane/crazy side.
Kim
I picked this up as a read alike for "Night Film" by Marisha Pessl, and at first blush, it certainly seems to fit the mold for a dark frame mystery. I was enthralled by the descriptions of the crumbling Venice palazzo and the claustrophobic relationship that developed between the central characters. I was even along for the ride when the plot deviated back to England but unfortunately the gusto behind the plot suddenly seemed to fizzle. The ending was cliched; almost as if the author either ran ...more
Brooke
Andrew Wilson wrote Patricia Highsmith's biography, and his debut novel The Lying Tongue is appropriately about a young man who decides to write the biography of a reclusive elderly author. I'm not going to reveal any more about the plot, because part of the awesomeness is the way Wilson slowly deals out information about the characters, bit by bit. It's a work of masterful plotting, the way things unroll at just the right pace.

If you're looking for a relatively quick (300 pages), eerie read wit
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dr. Neruda's Cure for Evil
  • Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol)
  • The Optimists
  • Madeleine's Ghost
  • Red Lights
  • The Long Rain
  • Crow Stone
  • This Sweet Sickness
  • Signs of Life
  • De val
  • Eclipse
  • Troost
  • Epitaph for a Tramp & Epitaph for a Dead Beat: The Harry Fannin Detective Novels
  • The Rise of Life on Earth
  • The Steel Spring
  • Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time
  • Journey Through the Night
  • Wolves of the Dawn
8521317
About himself:

"I'm a journalist and author. My work has appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the New Statesman and the Evening Standard magazine."

Source: http://www.andrewwilsonauthor.co.uk/d...
More about Andrew Wilson...
Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith Harold Robbins: The Man Who Invented Sex

Share This Book