The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

  • by Joël Dicker
  • Narrated by Robert Slade
  • 20 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

August 30, 1975: the day of the disappearance. The day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence. That summer, struggling author Harry Quebert fell in love with 15-year-old Nola Kellergan. Thirty-three years later, her body is dug up from his yard, along with a manuscript copy of the novel that secured his lasting fame. Quebert is the only suspect.
Marcus Goldman - Quebert's most gifted protégé - throws off his writer's block to clear his mentor's name. Solving the case and penning a new best seller soon merge into one. As his book begins to take on a life of its own, the nation is gripped by the mystery of The Girl Who Touched the Heart of America. But with Nola, in death as in life, nothing is ever as it seems.


What the Critics Say

"A spellbinding literary thriller... It is maddeningly, deliciously impossible to guess the truth" (The Time)
"The cleverest, creepiest book you'll read this year ... Twin Peaks meets Atonement meets In Cold Blood" (Daily Telegraph)
"A tour de force, this seems set to be a huge success" (Metro)
"Quietly compulsive...with a deliciously shocking twist" (Daily Express)
"Big, assertive and clever... hard to resist" (Independent on Sunday)
"Like Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy [it] combines literariness with compulsive readability" (GQ)
"Enough plot twists to fill a truck" (The Economist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I don't wanna know the truth about the affair

This was vastly disappointing. I'm not going to go in too deep about the storylines which are readily available in the summary.

What I want to say is
a) this book is a structural failure. A guy writes about himself, his past and how he came to write the book about "the affair". This he does partially in retrospect, partially in first-person narrative in the present, but, and this is done really badly, partially from the view of other characters. Clearly we have a protagonist in this story, but every so often he doesn't tell the story anymore, but someone else. In another setting this might be nice to follow, but this is a murder investigation, so it doesn't make ANY SENSE (sorry for shouting!) to give insights to third person's thoughts if they are not communicated to the investigator. How do they reach him?
It is so thoroughly illogical that it made me want to scream.
Our hero drives around town, visits someone in prison, switches on a tape-recorder, someone else begins to talk and suddenly the story switches to yet another person, recounting events from 30 years ago in the present tense. Then, suddenly, we are back in the skin of the author who continues his investigation.
To clarify: this is a book about the production of said book, told from multiple angles and multiple periods in time. I guess the author wanted to be very crafty, but the threads of the story become convoluted, misleading, hard to tell apart (who's talking now? Waitress? Author? Cop?) and most of all: tedious.

b) this book is stylistically bad: Endless annoying dialogues end without any conclusion, solution or explanation why the reader/listener had to suffer through them.

c) the story itself is sordid. If it isn't, it has become so with the narrator. It is supposed to be about an affair between a 15-year old girl, oh so sweet, oh so lovely, and a 34-year old jaded and self-centered writer. They aren't likable. The girl is whiney, childlike in her demeanor and, ha-ha, her name is Nola. (not Lolita, no, Nola) The author tells himself repeatedly that he really shouldn't be with a 15-year old girl, but he loves her! He wants her! And so he lies to her! Repeatedly! To make her adore him even more!
Enough already. I have given the matter some thought: If the author of the book wanted to write a love-story gone awry, he failed. Nola is no Lolita, she clearly is still a child (or at least rendered one by Robert Slade) and so the affair was, in my eyes, absolutely inappropriate. Disgustingly so. I have no patience whatsoever with the sympathetic depiction of, let's face it, chronophilia.

d) Robert Slade has succeeded in depicting all characters as nasty creatures. I didn't like ANY of them. They were, with his voice and modulation, annoying, whining, hard to distinguish personas that I wasn't invested in at all.

Of the clever ending, well ok, I'll credit the author with some ingenuity, but the hours before that were hard to digest.
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- Cornelia

What a disappointment!

This book is fatally marred by implausible characters, clunky dialogue and a plot full of holes.

Don't bother.
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- Anne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-05-2014
  • Publisher: Quercus