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August , The Day Of The Disappearance The Day Somerset, New Hampshire, Lost Its Innocence That Summer, Struggling Author Harry Quebert Fell In Love With Fifteen 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 Made Him A Household Name Quebert Is The Only Suspect Marcus Goldman Quebert S Most Gifted Prot G Throws Off His Writer S Block To Clear His Mentor S Name Solving The Case And Penning A New Bestseller 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 I m not sure if it was the cover the old cover of this book, or the title, the fact that wherever I went Spain, the UK, France I saw the same book in airports and bookshops, or a combination of all that together with the blurb of the book but I had been curious about this novel for a long time and, eventually, I got around to reading it.The book and its author has received many accolades and awards, and it is one of those books that manages to combine a gripping story a mystery that keeps wrong footing investigators and readers alike with an interesting narrator and a clever way of telling the story that becomes a part of the action and almost a character in its own right.The book is divided into Three Parts Part One Writer s Disease, Part Two Writer s Cure, Part Three Writer s Paradise , a Prologue, and Epilogue, a first scene, and acknowledgements at the end In brief, this novel is the story of the writing of a book, the book we have in our hands we assume by Marcus Goldman, also known as Marcus the Magnificent you ll have to read the book to know about that, but let s say that from a very young age, Marcus had been a man with a sense of his own destiny and had realised that there are ways of gaining fame and attracting everybody s attention that are not all to do with hard work or talent In part one, after an intriguing initial scene, we meet Marcus who became famous after publishing his first book suffering from writer s block Almost two years have passed since the publication of his novel this is 2008 , and he is desperate as his publisher has given him a deadline To try and get out of the situation he goes to visit his writing teacher, Harry Quebert, whom he met at Burrows University, which he attended between 1998 and 2002 He lives in Somerset, Maine, and is happy to see him While he is there, Marcus makes a discovery about Harry s life, and as the novel progresses, we learn that there are many secrets and mysteries hidden behind the letters and pictures he finds A fifteen year old girl, Nola Kellerman, disappeared in 1975 and when her body is discovered in Harry s property, all hell breaks loose.The novel, although seemingly divided into the period before the writing of the novel, the actual writing of it, and its publication, keeps jumping backwards and forwards in time, sometimes through the narration of one of the characters we go back to 1975, there are fragments where we learn about Marcus s relationship with Harry during university and in the in between years, and we also travel to 1985 and to 1969 , sometimes through letters and documents, sometimes we get to listen to recordings of interviews, or we get summaries of reports There are also other written documents referred to throughout the book, the most important, The Origin of Evil, the novel that turned Harry into a famous writer, which everybody refers to as a masterpiece, and that he happened to write in Somerset, in 1975 Marcus narrates the story in first person, but the fragments that are either written by others or part of his novel, are written in the third person And there are false starts as Marcus and later Gahalowood, a cranky but likeable sergeant, uncover new information, the notes and the book gets reframed and rewritten , draft versions, false endings, plenty of misunderstandings and intentional misdirection as well We get different versions of events, but we also get alternative versions of characters, particularly of Nola, who at times appears as a Lolita, a seductress who could manipulate all adults around her, while at others she is an innocent victim of family and lusty men, or a muse intent on inspiriting a masterpiece, or perhaps just a young scared girl trying to find happiness Nothing is what it seems to be when we consider both the plot and the characters, and even the basic things we think we know for a fact might require reconsideration.It is perhaps not evident at the beginning, but each chapter starts with writing advice, that later we understand consists of thirty one points Harry offers Marcus, starting from number thirty one and going up the list As a writer, I feel that most of the points are very insightful, and although most are not terribly personal, some, that we see given in context, later on, help us get a sense of who the characters are, and we come to realise that all the advice is pertinent to the story as well The book follows its own advice, and it piles layer after layer of story and meaning like Russian dolls , increasing and releasing the tension as explanation after explanation is given and eventually rejected, and as our expectations and trashed time and again.The characters are well drawn and even some of the seemingly minor characters end up amazing us when we get to know them better and believe me, we do There are surprises, as I said, there is humour mostly provided by the publisher and by Marcus s mother, perhaps both these characters are less well drawn and caricature like, but they are not part of Somerset and the story but instead interfere and distract the writer from his task , there are are many touching moments and those are not limited to the main protagonists either even the least likeable characters get their spot in the limelight Despite the repetitions and the jumps in time, the book is not difficult to follow, although it is not easy to keep all the clues in mind and guessing who did what is not simple, Of course, that is the beauty of complex mysteries I have not read the original version, but I cannot fault the translation into English, and I kept highlighting sentences and paragraphs, some to do with writing, but some with the story.At times readers will be almost shouting, aligning themselves with the editor, demanding that the book gets finished and there is an end to the story, but the author keeps going, pushing the sense of frustration and the patience of the reader, looping the loop once It s a tour de force As Harry says Books are like life, Marcus They never really end Having said all that, I enjoyed the ending, even if at some points it felt as if I was watching one of those horror movies with monsters in them, where you think they are dead, but no, they keep coming Here, the different explanations, suspects, and red herrings keep coming as well, but I loved the actual ending even if some of the details and the explanations stretched a bit the suspension of disbelief, but I won t go into detail to avoid spoilers.I recommend this novel to lovers of mysteries looking for a long and involving read that requires your full attention and is fairly demanding, especially if you don t mind complex narratives and jumps backward and forward in time I also recommend it to writers who love novels about writers, for the plot, for the format, and for the advice most of which will make you nod and smile This book made me think about many other stories Lolita, Beauty and the Beast, Cyrano de Bergerac Although the book is not overtly sexually graphic, here goes a word of warning as it does discuss a relationship between an adult male and a young girl, and there are instances of violence and brutal assaults that could be upsetting The book depicts a world where white men occupy the main active and alive roles Marcus is Jewish and that plays a major part in the jokes about his mother s behaviour and in no way challenges gender or diversity prejudices either, but some of the characters offer insightful comments and have positive attitudes.I thought I would leave you with a couple of quotations, especially dedicated to writers and readers You know what a publisher is He s a failed writer whose father was rich enough that he s able to appropriate other people s talents.A good book, Marcus, is judged not by its last words but by the cumulative effect of all the words that have preceded them About half a second after finishing your book, after reading the very last word, the reader should be overwhelmed by a particular feeling For a moment he should think only of what he has just read he should look at the cover and smile a little sadly because he is already missing all the characters A good book, Marcus, is a book you are sorry to have finished. No le doy 5 estrellas porque no lo he terminado a n pero lo que llevo le do de momento me est gustando mucho Con un nivel de ingl s B2 C1 se entiende sin problemas.Lo q no me gusta es q compr el formato de bolsillo tapa blanda y la letra es muy peque a, pero claro, teniendo en cuenta q el libro consta de 600 p ginas, como las pusieran m s grandes entonces ser a una enciclopedia en vez de un libro de bolsillo. El libro resulta entretenido y est narrado de forma original Interesante para los que les gusten los libros de misterio y tambi n para los que les guste escribir Me defiendo en ingl s y procuro leer libros en ingl s de vez en cuando, este resulta f cil de entender, recomendable para los que est n aprendiendo ingl s.