Nancy Martira's Reviews > The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
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did not like it

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.
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Reading Progress

July 21, 2014 – Started Reading
July 21, 2014 – Shelved
August 8, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Brandon Cahall Great review...I had much the same experience.


Jamie Scott Maybe it's because I'm only 200 pages in...but I feel the exact opposite. I'm really enjoying it.
I don't understand why a book rooted in fiction would have to be fact-checked to the extent you mentioned...anything can happen in fiction and that's the beauty of it. I'd like to think that bookworms would understand that. Not everything has to stay within the realms of reality...particularly when it concerns 911 calls or young authors becoming super famous...that stuff can happen. If you want to read an atrocious book pick up Modelland by Tyra Banks or Fifty Shades.


Thomas Gizbert Ugh! I hate how we never actually find out whether Dicker's a misogynist or just a really bad writer! Over 600 pages of wondering and then BANG the book ends and maybe we'll just never know.


message 4: by Manny (last edited Jul 17, 2017 08:24AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Manny It is not the translation. I have just finished the French edition and I am pretty annoyed about it - though not as annoyed as my girlfriend, who had to listen to me complain about it for four days.

The advice about the craft of writing and the extracts from "the greatest novel of the 20th century" would have been hilarious if they had been handled differently, but as it was they were just embarrassing. It doesn't work as a straight mystery novel, and it doesn't work as a satire either. I am also completely mystified by the positive reception this dreadful book has received.


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