The Double Bind
By Chris Bohjalian
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9781400031665, 395pp.)
Publication Date: February 12, 2008
List Price: $15.95*
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When Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography, spending all her free time 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, Laurel discovers a deeply hidden secret–a story that leads her far from her old life, and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her. In a tale that travels between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century, between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has written his most extraordinary novel yet.
- Chris Bohjalian begins the novel with a very matter-of-fact description of a brutal attack. Later in the novel, he writes about Laurel, "she preferred black and white [photography] because she thought it offered both greater clarity and deeper insight into her subjects. In her opinion, you understood a person better in black and white." Compare Laurel's analysis of photography to the writing style of the author, particularly in the prologue.
"Bohjalian is a master of literary suspense. . . . [His] are the sorts of books people stay awake all night to finish." —The Washington Post Book World"Artfully constructed and fiercely felt. . . . Bohjalian is . . . rearranging our previous assumptions, producing the sense of shock we felt viewing The Sixth Sense." —The Miami Herald"Terrifying. . . . Laurel is an unforgettable, vulnerable, complicated character." —The Los Angeles Times"The Double Bind is simply one of the best written, most compelling, artfully woven novels to grace bookshelves in years. Immediately after the spellbinding surprise ending, readers will want to begin again. . . . It's THAT good." —The Associated Press“The sort of book you want to read in one sitting, and it packs a twist at the end that will leave you speechless.” —Jodi Picoult"Harrowing.... The Double Bind has a powerful statement to make about the nature of obsession and mental illness, as well as the lingering effects of psychological trauma.... A stunner." —The St. Petersburg Times"Great fiction... un-put-down-able." —People "Ingenious.... He's compassionate about mental illness, wise about the healing power of art. He moves easily and convincingly back and forth from different points of view and manages to create authentic voices." —The Boston Globe"A psychological thriller . . . a chilling depiction of the ways we choose to remember as well as what we forget." —New York Daily News"A page-turner with a wicked twist at the end." -—Life Magazine