Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch Review


Synopsis: Once a celebrated writer, M’s greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.’s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.’s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

My Thoughts: I loved Summer House With Swimming Pool so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to read this book. Unfortunately, it really fell flat. It started out good, albeit confusing, but the storyline was intriguing. I was expecting a thrilling stalker story with a whodunit mystery thrown in. Around the middle of the book it became very slow and the story felt stagnant, like it was stuck. I became extremely bored and completely lost interest.

I skimmed to the end and although there were some surprises, they weren’t enough for me to recommend this book. I love twists but the pacing of this book was so slow building up to them that they didn’t have as much effect. By the time I got to them, I just wanted it all to be over.

My Rating: 1-star

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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