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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Narrated by: Robert Slade
Length: 20 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,310 ratings)

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Summary

A crime story. A love story. More than 2 million copies sold worldwide.

And now a major 10-part MGM TV series starring Patrick Dempsey and Ben Schnetzer. 

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 made him a household name. 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.

©2012 Editions de Fallois / L’Âge d’Homme (P)2014 WF Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"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)
What members say
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Truth Is It's Too Long

The protagonists share 31 rules on what it takes to write a great book. If you aren't put off by the 20+ hours it takes to be force fed these rules, feel free to contact me when you spot one rule I didn't: the one that recommends constructing the story on (a) a smug, self-obsessed thoroughly dislikeable inevitably friendless author trying to save (b) another friendless author whose excuse is his unashamed predilection for under age girls with the help of (c) a bungling detective who is more than happy to share every step of his criminal investigation with his unlikely civilian companion whilst he races to bang the cuffs on everyone short of himself in (d) a town full of folks who share a photographic memory of the events of 33 years ago. There was decent book lurking somewhere in those 20 hours. I don't expect to be recalling it word for word in 33 years' time

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well i quite liked it

Any additional comments?

I suppose it's all a question of taste but I really liked this book. I laughed a bit and was completely sure I knew who did it........until I found out I was completely wrong, I liked most of the characters ( have to say thought Harry was a little unpleasant) and stayed up way passed my bed time to listen to the end. In my experience there are 3 types of audio book 1. Book you only get half way through and give up on it, 2. Book you finish but never return to and 3. Book you listen to again and again, returning to it like an old friend. This book, for me, is definitely type 3.

32 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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A waste of 20 hours

What would have made The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair better?

Where to start.....?

What could Joël Dicker have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not described every single relevant, slightly relevant and irrelevant event in painful, plodding, pointless detail. Cut down on the cliche's.

What didn’t you like about Robert Slade’s performance?

It might just be the dialogue itself but the characters voices became intensely annoying. Especially Nola who just came across as a whining, superficial annoyance.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

An interrsting enough tale, I suppose.

Any additional comments?

I can't recommend enough that this book be avoided. The story is interesting enough but the dialogue is incredibly slow and plodding. And boring. Nothing is left to your imagination; everything is over-explained. The voices are intensely annoying. The characters are one-dimensional. The cliche's come thick and fast. By about the 16th hour, I wanted to throw it out but had to grind out the last 4 hours just to hear the ending and the twist. Neither of which was worth the wait. Or they might have been but I was long past caring by then.

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Repays the effort!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book took quite a while to get going, but it certainly re-pays the effort of staying with it, as it becomes gripping towards the end, with it's many twists and turns. Not so much an unreliable narrator, but rather unreliable witnesses informing him. Your relationship towards the characters is constantly shifting towards the end.

What other book might you compare The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair to, and why?

None particularly

Which character – as performed by Robert Slade – was your favourite?

Very well read, an audio book very often stands or falls by the narrator. This one, though slow at the start kept my interest by virtue of the narrator's investment in the characters.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Altogether dreadful

There are so many things wrong with this book that it's difficult to know where to begin. The preoccupation of the two main characters to be a "great writer" leaves neither with any other noticeable character trait other than to consider themselves more than merely mortal. That leaves the stunningly beautiful and desirable women in their lives having nothing more to say than, "You're going to be a great writer and I want to be with you and take care of you.." It's 2016 and even though the love story is set in the past, this self negating attitude left me nauseous. All of the characters were either 2 dimensional or complete stereotypes. I could not begin to understand what it was about the 15 year old that drew Quebert to her...the writer failed to explain!
I shouted at the recording so many times in disgust that I finally returned the book! Something I rarely do. Be warned.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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I can't believe I stuck it out

What disappointed you about The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair?

The characterisation - I didn't believe in any of them. Marcus is some kind of bland cypher who asks the most inane questions, you can't believe he is no naive. The female characters are stereo-typical to the point of comedy - lascivious child/woman, ambitious conniving mothers, dumb blondes.

What was most disappointing about Joël Dicker’s story?

The length. I had that "I've paid for it so I should stick it out" feeling. Then I got to the end and was just angry. The plot is complicated and unbelievable. I shan't give away any spoilers but really.....some of the "tricks" involving psychological issues were laughable (if I hadn't felt so mad)

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narration was fine. I just hope he was paid a goodly sum to have read it.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No, not really. I feel bad about giving it a stinky review as, like Thumper's father, I believe in the "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all" school. I must be way off beam as I believe this has won literary prizes.....*shakes head and walks quietly away

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved It!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The characters were well written and, considering the original book was written in French, the translation was excellent and the narrator superb.
It was a fascinating and long story (around 18 hours) with many twists and turns along the way.
An excellent first novel and deserving of the many plaudits it has already received.
I look forward to many more novels from this author.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Clunky, self congratulatory and misogynistic

I found the female characters in this book offensively badly drawn and one dimensional and didn't think the book was very well written, especially the supposed extracts from a masterpiece. The characters were all quite grating and cartoonish - not a fan!

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Sweet Valley High?

This was an editor's pick so I was surprised to find it so irritating. I couldn't finish it for cringing. The characters were one dimensional and clichéd (Marcus's Mother for example) and although I tried to persevere I decided I don't care who dunnit.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommended who dunnit


Really enjoyed, great storytelling with a meaty story, great characters and lots of guessing. Made a nice change to rely on story and people rather than gore like the Scandinavian murder mysteries of late. Narration was good too.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 18-01-15

A beautifully crafted crime-thriller!

What did you love best about The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair?

I thought that the narrator, Robert Slade, did a great job of the characters, giving them life and nuance.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character was Galloway, a gruff detective who hates Goldman at the start but deep down is looking for justice

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where Galloway befriends the narrator.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A small town can only have so many secrets.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matias Stubbe
  • 13-04-20

Lots of twists but hokey as hell

It is hard to know if this book is trying to be a serious piece of literature, a thriller or farcical melodrama. Too long and in a desperate need of an editor. Best approach is to not take it seriously, then it is half enjoyable. Disappointing

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • alvaro de torres
  • 13-01-15

That s what I call bad writing

Bad, bad, really bad!!

Sometimes it just hurts to keep on reading. The worst of all, the parts with the mother of the character.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • elly
  • 13-07-14

No bestseller in my opinion

Would you listen to The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair again? Why?

No. I'm half way and sit it out but never again.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I'm hoping it will get better but up till now it is a drag. Over sentimental and nothing really happens.

What three words best describe Robert Slade’s performance?

Not too bad but there are better narrators.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No.

Any additional comments?

My husband read it and told me about it. So I got interested, also because it was a nr one on the bestsellers list here in Holland. But I'm disappointed. I'm afraid it was a waist of time, so far. I still hope it will get better, but I'm afraid it won't.

1 person found this helpful