The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (Paperback)
Penguin Books, 9780143126683, 656pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
June 2014 Indie Next List
— Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT
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“Unimpeachably terrific.” —The New York Times Book Review
A twisty, fast-paced, cinematic literary thriller, and an ingenious book within a book, for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari Lapena, and Donna Tartt
Marcus Goldman is riding high. The twenty-eight-year-old writer is the new darling of American letters, whose debut novel has sold two million copies. But when it comes time to produce a new book, he is sidelined by a crippling case of writer’s block. He travels to Somerset, New Hamprshire, to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country’s most respected writers, hoping to jar his creative juices as his publisher’s deadline looms. But Marcus’s plans are upended when Harry is sensationally implicated in a cold-case murder: Fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan went missing in 1975, and Harry admits to having had an affair with her. Following a trail of clues through the backwoods and isolated beaches of New Hampshire, Marcus must answer two questions, which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? And how do you write a book to save someone’s life?
Named a Best Book of the Summer by CBS This Morning, Us Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Parade, Houston Chronicle, New York Post, Tampa Bay Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and The Daily Beast
Now a 10-part TV series on EPIX, starring Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer, Damon Wayans Jr., and Virginia Madsen
About the Author
Praise For The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel…
“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.” —Chelsea Cain, The New York Times Book Review
“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
“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
“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.” —Michael Harvey, bestselling author of The Chicago Way
“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.” —The Washington Post
“A highly entertaining mash-up of melodrama, metafiction and mystery [with] a slick page-turning plot.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Charmingly off-kilter . . . Sure-footed.” —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
“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
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?