The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Paperback)
Penguin Books, 9780143126683, 643pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
June 2014 Indie Next List
— Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT
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About the Author
Praise For The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair…
Worldwide Acclaim for The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair
One of Us Weekly’s 4 “Stories for a Sunny Escape”
One of The Hollywood Reporter’s “10 Hot Summer Beach Reads”
One of Minneapolis Star Tribune’s “5 Mysteries You Must Read”
One of Parade’s “20 Best Summer Books”
One of Houston Chronicle’s “21 Summer Book Recommendations”
One of New York Post’s “29 Best Books of the Summer”
One of Tampa Bay Times’s “Best Books for Summer Reading”
One of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Best Books for Your Summer Reading List”
One of The Daily Beast’s “Hot Reads”
“Unimpeachably terrific . . . A playful, page-turning whodunit . . . If Norman Mailer had been accused of murder and Truman Capote had collaborated with Dominick Dunne on a tell-all about it, the result might have turned out something like this. Though I suspect this version may be funnier. . . . It’s [Dicker’s] light touch and engaging voice that make the writing so infectious, and will probably make it a best seller here as well.” —Chelsea Cain, The New York Times Book Review
“I haven’t had a suspense novel surprise me like this one in a long time. Joël Dicker is a bright new star of suspense, and he proves his serious chops with this utterly thrilling, delightfully twisted, continually shocking novel. I can’t wait to read what he writes next!” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing
“A dazzling thriller—stunningly original and brilliantly plotted, down to the very last twists. It’s a murder mystery, a literary puzzle, and a love story, all ingeniously woven into a masterly novel of suspense. Joël Dicker is an enormous talent, and this book is extraordinary.” —Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Death Angel
“Talk about a web of treason and danger: This one unfolds with a relentless sense of urgency and pulse-pounding escapades, entertaining at every turn. Absolutely rousing.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception
“Planes, trains and automobiles: You’ll see people reading this book everywhere. An amazing debut and wonderful summer read from a writer to watch.” —Michael Harvey, bestselling author of The Chicago Way
“The great American crime novel . . . A breakneck thriller.” —Details
“A terrific read . . . Entertaining . . . Cleverly constructed . . . It’s compelling, challenging, sometimes even funny. The characters are finely drawn. . . . It keeps you, as they say of movies, ‘on the edge of your seat.’ ” —The Huffington Post
“An intense, well-crafted mystery . . . This is a big book with a small cast, lots of layers with a variety of suspects who have the means, the motive and the opportunity. . . . Come for the big, literary mystery, and brag about the prizes when you’re done. Vacation time at a Somerset mansion not included.” —KQED, “Great Lit Perfect for Summer Reading”
“Entertainingly pulled off . . . Enjoyable . . . It churns along at such a good clip and is rendered with such high emotion and apparent deep conviction that it’s easy to see why it was a bestseller in Europe. It’s likely to be one in this country, too.” —The Washington Post
“A wonderful, fun, and boisterous read, a book with an uncanny ability to both fascinate and amuse you. Twists and turns and oddball characters make this a rollicking bullet-train of a novel.” —Amazon.com, Best Book of the Month
“A highly entertaining mash-up of melodrama, metafiction and mystery [with] a slick page-turning plot.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Charmingly off-kilter . . . Sure-footed . . . No wonder it’s already a best seller in Europe.” —The Daily Beast
“[A] funny, plot-twisting mystery.” —Women’s Day, “New Favorites from the Women’s Day Staff”
“Stunning . . . Fast-paced, tightly plotted . . . From page one, you’ll be hooked on this fascinating mystery of love and deception.” —National Examiner
“Smart and fun.” —Houston Chronicle
“A clever, tightly plotted thriller with a comic edge.” —Tampa Bay Times
“A unique thriller . . . A page-turning police procedural . . . This dramatic, original first novel has made Joël Dicker a famous writer in Europe, and may do so in America as well.” —Concord Monitor
“Moves at break-neck speed . . . I enjoyed it and got wrapped in its ambitious, multi-layered story.” —Oline Cogdill, Mystery Scene
“A sensational story, imaginatively related. . . . Dicker does what every gifted crime writer does: he makes the reader slowly realize that there are any number of potential killers. . . . It’s first-rate deception. . . . [You’ll] be surprised again and again [and] find yourself reading faster and faster. Dicker has clearly mastered the art of creating suspense.” —CounterPunch
“Fast-paced . . . Dynamic . . . A captivating murder mystery as well as a compelling love story.” —Shepherd Express
“Is Harry worth the hype? I have to say ‘yes.’ . . . It’s 600-plus pages that I kept reading. . . . The plot has more dark twists and turns than a drug lord’s tunnel. . . . Nothing—repeat—nothing is as it seems. . . . We are completely hooked.” —Irma Helman, Open Letters Monthly
“An ambitious, multilayered novel of suspense . . . This tale of fame, friendship, loyalty, and fiction versus reality moves at warp speed.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This sprawling, likable whodunit [is] obvious ballast for the summer’s beach totes. . . . Dicker keeps the prose simple and the pace snappy in a plot that winds up with more twists than a Twizzler. . . . [An] entertaining debut thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Tantalizing . . . Compelling . . . There is a Twin Peaks–like fascination to the story of Nola Kellergan. . . . Readers are certain to be caught up in the ongoing drama of who killed Nola among the plethora of suspects.” —Booklist
“The cleverest, creepiest book you’ll read this year . . . The most talked-about French novel of the decade . . . Breathtakingly plotted . . . Addictively fast . . . It’s like Twin Peaks meets Atonement meets In Cold Blood. . . . The New England setting [is] immersively convincing. . . . Very few foreign-language novels make big waves in Anglophone countries, but this one seems genuinely likely to buck the trend.” —The Telegraph
“Spellbinding . . . a top-class literary thriller . . . It is maddeningly, deliciously impossible to guess the truth.” —The Times
“A phenomenon . . . A page-turner . . . Compulsively easy to read.” —The Observer
“With enough plot twists to fill a truck, it is a racy read. . . . Part master-and-disciple tale, part whodunnit, Mr. Dicker’s thriller is also a postmodern confabulation of timelines and stories, in the manner of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.” —The Economist
“[An] In Cold Blood–style investigation of a Twin Peaks–like town . . . A smart, immensely readable, impressively plotted page-turner [that] keeps the surprises coming right up to the closing pages. . . . An immersive, propulsive, continually wrongfooting twister of a tale, it should delight any reader who has felt bereft since finishing Gone Girl, or Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.” —Metro
“A seductive read—big, assertive and clever . . . Expertly told . . . Hard to resist . . . Well-crafted and highly enjoyable.” —The Independent
“Dicker has the first-rate crime novelist’s ability to lead his readers up the garden path. . . . An excellent story.” —Sunday Express
“[It] does well . . . what all good thrillers should: it twists and turns. . . . [It] has the pleasing spryness of one of Jessica Fletcher’s outings [in Murder, She Wrote]. . . . Just like a [Harlan] Coben novel, it’s very enjoyable.” —The Guardian
“A scintillating, page-turning debut . . . Expertly paced . . . tautly written . . . A powerful novel about passion, jealousy, family, redemption, friendship and love, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a Great American Novel—written by a European.” —The Bookseller
“Fabulous, clever stuff . . . This extraordinary thriller . . . grabs you, its characters so intriguingly flawed and pulsating that you simply can’t stop reading. . . . The real genius of this work is in its incredible construction, diving forwards and backwards with multiple storytellers.” —The Australian Women’s Weekly
“If you dip your toes into this major novel, you’re finished: you won’t be able to keep from sprinting through to the last page. You will be manipulated, thrown off course, flabbergasted and amazed by the many twists and turns, red herrings and sudden changes of direction in this exuberant story.” —Le Journal du Dimanche
“A funny, intelligent, breathtaking book within a book . . . There is a real joy in discovering this extraordinary novel.” —Lire
“A master stroke . . . A crime novel with not one plot line but many, full of shifting rhythms, changes of course and multiple layers that, like a Russian doll, slot together beautifully . . . In maestro form, Dicker alternates periods and genres (police reports, interviews, excerpts from novels) and explores America in all its excesses—media, literary, religious—all the while questioning the role of the literary writer.” —L’Express
“The success story of the literary season . . . An American thriller reminiscent of the best work of Truman Capote.” —Paris-Match
“Dizzying, like the best American thrillers . . . Rich in subplots and twists, moving backwards and forwards in time, containing books within books.” —Le Figaro
“After The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, the contemporary novel will no longer be the same. Verdict: summa cum laude. . . . A beautiful novel.” —Corriere della Sera
“Narrative talent is about making a work of art out of life. Dicker has got it.” —Vanity Fair
“A book within a book, a crime novel, a love story. Extraordinary.” —Cosmopolitan
“Brilliantly narrated.” —Stern
“A novel with all the ingredients of a global bestseller.” —Die Zeit
“A story brimming with such intelligence and subtlety that you can only regret that it has to end. A novel that works on so many levels: a crime story, a love story, a comedy of manners, but equally an incisive critique of the art of the modern author.” —Elsevier
“A novel that calls to mind the journalistic investigations of Truman Capote, the murder plots of Donna Tartt and the romantic scandal of Nabakov’s Lolita.” —NRC NEXT
“Packed with action, psychological drama and . . . extraordinary suspense.” —NRC Handelsblad
“Captivating and enchanting . . . a true literary adventure.” —Algemeen Dagblad
“Wonderful dialogue, colorful characters, breathtaking twists and a plot that allows no pause for breath . . . Everything is perfectly woven together to create an irresistible story in which absolutely nothing is as it seems.” —Trouw
“Never have I felt so compelled to recommend a book this highly. . . . I was mesmerized and fascinated long after I had finished reading. . . . It has echoes of Twin Peaks and Death on the Staircase, John Grisham, Psycho, The Exorcist, and The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving.” —La Vanguardia
“This book will be celebrated and studied by future writers. It is a model thriller.” —El Periódico de Catalunya
“Masterful . . . The great thriller that everyone has been waiting for since the Millennium Trilogy of Stieg Larsson.” —El Cultural de El Mundo
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- While you were reading the novel, were you conscious of the fact that it was originally written in French?
- Were Harry and Nola in love? Is true love possible between an adult in his thirties and a fifteen-year-old adolescent?
- There are no explicit sex scenes between Harry and Nola in the novel. Is it possible that their relationship was unconsummated?
- How well do you think Dicker captured small-town American life? Are the Quinns a typical American family?
- Is Marcus a reliable narrator?
- Do you agree with Marcus’s ultimate decision to write a book about “The Harry Quebert Affair”? What would you have done in his position?
- [Spoiler warning: Don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know too much!] Who was Nola Kellergan: a victim, a seductress, or something else?
- Elijah Stern goes to great lengths to atone for the crime he committed in his youth. Did his actions adequately compensate his victim?
- Was Harry, in part, to blame for Nola’s death because of the way he misled Jenny Quinn?
- How did the truth about The Origin of Evil affect your opinion of Harry? Should he have publicly admitted that it was really written by someone else?
- Did you suspect the identity of the true killer?
- Were you satisfied that justice had been served?