When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont's back roads, her life is changed forever. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography hobby and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that before he was homeless, he was a successful photographer.
As Laurel's fascination with Bobbie's former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a dark family secret.
In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters, Chris Bohjalian takes listeners on his most intriguing, most haunting, and most unforgettable journey yet.
©2007 Chris Bohjalian; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"A tricky and intriguing premise." (Publishers Weekly)
"This elegantly crafted tale is well worth delving into." (Booklist)
I was a high school history teacher and a physician assistant-retired.
This novel resurrects F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and imagines what may have happened to a second child born to Daisy and Tom Buchanan. Is this literary license where all the characters accept the premise that Daisy and Tom were real people or is something else afoot? Some listeners may find the plot twist clever, but I found it unsatisfying. A second listen didn't help. Three stars for the innovative premise and for keeping me hooked until the disappointing ending.
I wish I'd read this book instead of listened (first time I've felt that way). The narrator is so stiff and disconnected from her material that it distracted me from the writing. There's an interesting story with a whopper of a surprise ending, but I don't recommend this version. Read it instead.
The story seems to fit into what I have begun to think of as a genre written specifically for people in the field of psychotherapy. The Interpretation of Murder was also in that genre. It's a mystery with a characteristically psychological twist. Whether based on fact or fiction, it works when it's well developed, as The Double Bind is.
The simplistic and cliche dialog prevented me from tolerating what could have been a half-decent story and plot. I didn't even download the second half.
Better give this a miss - unless you're a budding novelist and want some tips on how not to write.
I slugged my way through this book but did get to the end. The plot premise is interesting, mostly in retrospect. Should be abridged so it is half as long. Then maybe the interesting bits could stand out.
Out of the several years I have subscribed to audible, this is the first narrator that I have just hated - her voice is lifeless and stilted and takes away from an already marginal book. The author was just not good enough to pull off this premise - too many silly or stereotypical details and not enough substance - and the narrator separates the listener even farther from the characters. This may be an OK book, but was a dud of a listen.
Could have been an interesting and intriguing read/listen but was extremely disappointing. The ending was so stupid and simplistic that the author shoud have just settled for, "a miracle happened and everyone lived happily ever after." It would have been more believeable than the author's feeble attempt to end the so-called story.
this is a very self centered book...lots of politically correct judgements (eg he is a vegetarian, therefore a good and thoughtful person). fairly predictable and boring...ie I did not find it interesting or stimulating. if it is true, I am very very sorry that she had to go through this event and it is nice that she funneled her energies to help others. that is noble
I was so annoyed with the narrator that I could not bear to go on. The story was lost on me due to the very slow, languid, almost condensing tone of voice of the narrator. I will note her name.
I had no trouble with the narrator, and thought the story was just fine. I was curious about how things would play out, as the author had painted himself into a number of corners, and, no doubt, would come up with some clever explanation for things that appeared to have happened.
Those that gave up on the book partway cheated themselves. They thought they were reading a bad book. Had they continued on to the end, though, they could have truly appreciated just what a horrible book this was.
When a reader expends a certain amount of time reading (or listening to) a story, the author should at least show a little respect for the reader. This author failed at that.
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