Tag: Private

Louise Candlish – The Other Passenger | Review

Title: The Other Passenger

Author: Louise Candlish

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 411

Rating: 4/5

I was sent a signed copy of this book for free as part of a bookish subscription box that reached out to me, but I don’t think that will influence my review. Still, I guess that’s a disclaimer for you.

The theme of the box that I received was all about the commute and this was pretty much the perfect book for it because it was mostly set on the commuter boats that people take to get into the city. As for the genre, it’s basically as close to generic contemporary thriller as you can get, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We have a lot of the classics tropes here, from an unreliable narrator to tons of twists and turns, complex interpersonal relationships and of course that little technique of jumping backwards and forwards through time to advance what’s happening in the present by bringing up something that happened in the past and which changes the way we look at things.

Other than that, I don’t really want to say too much about the plot, purely because as with most of these, half of the point is being taken by surprise. And I will say that while there were one or two things that I called pretty early on, there were also a couple of twists here and there that I didn’t spot.

It probably also helped that I received quite a nice edition of this, a hardback with the author’s signature in it, and so it was quite an aesthetically pleasing read, too. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of thrillers in general, as I tend to prefer either cosy mysteries, private detectives or gritty police procedural novels, but it certainly did the job and was a pleasant enough read, keeping me going until the end to find out the truth about what happened.

And that brings us on to the question of whether I’d recommend it or not, and that really depends upon the type of reader that you are. If you’re really into modern thrillers and you loved Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, you’re probably going to like this one. There are a ton of twists, more than I’ve seen in a novel of this size in quite a long time, and the characters are just warped enough to keep them interesting.

Learn more about The Other Passenger.

 


Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho | Review

Title: American Psycho

Author: Bret Easton Ellis

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 390

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis – American Psycho

 

It’s pretty difficult for me to review this one because while I did actually enjoy reading it, I don’t necessarily think it was an objectively good book. A lot of the ideas and the imagery in it were so clunky that it was like being beat over the head with them, and while I’ve previously said to a YouTube friend that I like it when the author makes it easy for me to grasp the imagery, this book just took the piss a bit. After the third or the fourth long extract where Bateman is dissecting popular music to contrast it with his random outbursts of violence, I was just so done with it. The same is true with the constant references to Donald Trump and the way that Bateman and his cronies worship money as their own private religion. It could have been a powerful message, but by the end of the book I was just like, “I GET THE POINT.”

But like I said, I still enjoyed reading the book, and I even thought that the “erotic” scenes were written tastefully without resorting to using weird phrases like “he entered her glistening sex with his rigid tip”, which is all too common when people write sex scenes. Sure, the sex scenes in question basically involve people being raped and then brutally murdered and so it’s not exactly easy reading, but at least the writing itself didn’t make me cringe. To be honest, I was mostly numb to it all and it quite often felt as though stuff had just been thrown into the mix to shock and offend people.

All in all, I find it hard to judge this one. It was simultaneously dated and more relevant than ever, but the actual central plot was just so-so. Perhaps it was more impactful back in 1991 and I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if I’d never read Irvine Welsh, because this reads like an American version of Irvine Welsh except following rich people instead of poor people. They weren’t compelling characters to read about and no amount of gore porn could help it to recover. It was like a horror film that’s only scary because of jump scares.

 

Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis

 

Click here to buy American Psycho.

 


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