The tour-de-force, hair-raising new novel from Herman Koch, New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool.
Once a celebrated writer, M's greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life, unsolved disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with a stunning pupil. Upon publication, M.'s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.
That was years ago, and now M.'s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?
From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to M's novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the "story" off its rails.
With racing tension, sardonic wit, and a world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed tour de force suspending listeners in the mysterious literary gray space between fact and fiction.
©2014 Herman Koch. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Originally published in Dutch in the Netherlands as Geachte heer M. by Ambo Anthos, Amsterdam, in 2014. Translation © 2016 Sam Garrett. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Charlie MacPherson for permission to reprint an excerpt from The Black Box by Malcolm MacPherson, © 1998 by Malcolm MacPherson. Used by permission.
Enjoyed every minute of this story- (almost)- hoping for a slightly better ending but still amazing with endless twists and surprises . I don't think I've listened to a better narrator - his performance brought every character to life . Don't miss it!
There are long stretches of tiresome examination of being a writer, but interesting cynical introspection, albeit misanthropic.
The narrator conveyed the aura of cynical, misanthropic ennui, and at times it became irritating.
There is more to this novel than a story. It may take time to digest and figure out what.
There are things to like about this story. The translation is fluid, the writing is clear and, as a mystery, fair to the reader. The characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. It gets bogged down in details of the student's lives. There is a whole long part about a Fall trip and a new girl that goes on forever. I found myself losing the thread of the plot. Maybe it's not a good audio book? Like Daniels, the reader, is great. I would look for his name when choosing another audio book. This is standard Herman Koch fare. I preferred an earlier book - The Dinner.
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