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5.0 out of 5 starsA surprise if you listen to the audiobook
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2017
I was engaged with this story early on. The story unfolds brilliantly, clearly crafted my an adept storyteller. Interesting side note: I listened to the audio book alongside the ebook, switching back and forth, and since the narrator for the audio book is African American, I had imagined a very different version of the story from my friends who read the paper or ebook versions. An interesting experiment, one that was unintentional by the author, but led to an exploration of how we are influenced by what we hear vs. what we read. When I found out that the story was in fact written from a Caucasian perspective, my mind was blown! An excellent read, either way, but quite different. I'm looking forward to more from this author.
The funny thing is - I didn't like the story. It is a fairly dark plot and most definitely doesn't leave you with warm fuzzies. However, the writing really clicks - The Interloper totally sucked me in and kept me reading, even if I wasn't always thrilled about where it was heading.I get the same feeling reading T. C. Boyle and the like. A satisfying read in that there are many layers and ways of analyzing the main character and some fun plot twists. Excited to read Wilson's latest book.
I saw Antoine Wilson speak on a panel at the LA Festival of Books, and after hearing him read an excerpt from one of his novels, I had a feeling I would love his writing. And I do! This was one of my favorite novels in quite a while. Wilson’s characters are so bizarre, well-developed and intriguing. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I finished the book in a couple days. I especially loved Lily. How did he make Lily, the fiction inside the fiction, so real? And Owen—what a brilliant mess he is! I didn’t feel like I was witnessing craziness from the outside, I felt like I was right there inside his mind with him where it all made sense. Wilson's story is just weird and dark and wonderful and refreshingly original.
This is probably the best first novel to hit the book stores since Brett Easton Ellis's "Less Than Zero" in 1985. It's a bona fide page turner.
The cover blurb sets the reader up to expect a revenge novel: The protagonist is out to avenge his brother-in-law's senseless murder, a loss that is destroying two families. Antoine Wilson's story takes the form of a modern epistolary novel--one that depends on letters to set out the plot. But book has much more in store. There are some nice plot twists that make the book a compelling "read". While the writing style isn't immortal literature, the simple, direct narrative keeps bumping along with a few thigh-slapping jokes thrown in.
There are a few lapses of editing, and some of the voices don't seem quite right (hard boiled criminals aren't usually literary types). However, these are minor glitches in a great first novel.
This is an excellent "beach book" or a way to happily "kill" a trans-continental flight.
4.0 out of 5 starsAn interesting, twisted story from a fine writer.
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2016
I read the book pretty much straight through, despite the fact that there were some things that would have made me quit reading in a lesser author. But the power of good writing overcame minor reservations.
Wilson writes a clean, literary prose that is a pleasure to read. That said, the protagonist and the story bothered me. Wilson chose a first person narrative delivered by a person who was not, at least to me, likable. So, for a normal writer, two strikes. But Wilson hit a triple at least and may have won the game.
Wilson did about as nice a job as I’ve seen done with a one-person point of view, never stumbling in the mechanics of describing things and the feelings of others. Owen Patterson is a very odd dude, indeed. He has a vast literary inner landscape wrapped up in a not-too-bright, often annoying skin. I’m sure there are people like him, but the inner man and his actions often seemed discordant to me. I expect that discord was intended, but it often put me on edge.
Nonetheless, it is a fine book. I’ll read the next one.