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The Witch Elm: A Novel por Tana French
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The Witch Elm: A Novel (original 2018; edição 2019)

por Tana French (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,6871227,575 (3.6)159
"A brilliant new work of suspense from "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years." (Washington Post) From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People), comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out. Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are"--… (mais)
Membro:atheist_goat
Título:The Witch Elm: A Novel
Autores:Tana French (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Books (2019), Edition: Reprint, 528 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:borrowed, March 2020

Pormenores da obra

The Wych Elm por Tana French (2018)

  1. 00
    The French Girl por Lexie Elliott (dmenon90)
    dmenon90: A long-buried murder victim is found in familiar site, a close-knit group of friends under suspicion, well-drawn detective character, inner workings of narrator's mind, English/Irish setting, great pacing and dialog.
  2. 00
    The Scholar por Dervla McTiernan (Utilizador anónimo)
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The Witch Elm by Tana French reads less like a thriller and more like a mystery. Even then, it is less a whodunit and more of a search for the correct psychopath. All of this with elements of a family drama, a coming-of-age reckoning, and a reflection on the idea of memory. Toby’s story doesn’t appear to be complex, and yet there are more layers to it than a good lasagna. And yet, you will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out just how big a tree needs to be to hide a man.

Ms. French puts poor Toby through the shit in The Witch Elm. Not only does he face a brutal assault at the hands of burglars in his home, but he must also deal with his favorite uncle slowly dying from brain cancer. Because that is not enough for one person to experience in a matter of weeks, she then adds a murder mystery at the family home on top of all that. Yet, for the most part, Toby handles all of it better than I would on my best day. Just thinking about dealing with all that is enough to send me into an anxiety-filled paralysis.

As most of her novels are more character than plot-driven, this is exactly the point. She takes Toby and pushes him to see what his breaking point is. How she does this is brilliant, fascinating, and cruel, as she questions the very nature of memory. She starts with the obvious with Toby’s memory loss due to the brain injuries he suffers. Her shift towards the frailty of memory as a whole is subtle and yet terrifying, as she points out again and again that two people will remember two very different events. While Toby questions the very nature of his relationships with his cousins, you too can’t help but question the validity of all of your memories. Eventually, the term unreliable witness has a completely different meaning as you watch Toby repeatedly reconcile his memories with the stories others tell him.

Because Ms. French is a writing master, she doesn’t stop with memory though. She throws in the complications of family dynamics. Here too, Toby realizes that the relationships he thought were so important may not have the same importance to other family members. This hurts in any relationship, but there is something particularly bittersweet when this happens among family. For Toby, it throws yet another level of tension into an already intense situation.

The Witch Elm is the type of story where the whodunit is less important than the reasons why and what happens next. That doesn’t mean that the whodunit reveal isn’t chilling. In fact, it is so matter-of-fact as to be very disturbing upon reflection. Still, after everything Toby experiences, everything we learn about the reasoning behind the murder is essentially anticlimactic. While not totally predictable, one can infer a lot before the big reveal, and the whole scene is less than satisfactory, which again is Ms. French’s plan.

If anything, The Witch Elm is a tough read that reiterates that life rarely provides satisfactory answers to its problems. I expected the intensity and the level of disturbing given the other French novels I read. I was not prepared for the emotional aspect of the story. Toby bears so much, and you can’t help but empathize with him as he waffles between anger, grief, confusion, anxiety, and everything in between. All while obsessing over the size of that damn tree. ( )
  jmchshannon | Apr 21, 2021 |
When Toby’s house is broken into, and Toby confronts the burglars, he is beaten pretty badly. After some time in the hospital, it is decided that he should go live with his uncle (who is dying of cancer) in the “Ivy House”. It’s a house where Toby and his cousins spent a lot of time when they were growing up. Not long after Toby arrives, his cousin’s kids are playing in the yard and discover a skull in the giant tree in the garden! This leads to some interesting confessions amongst the cousins…

I really liked this! I listened to the audio. Have to admit that some of the parts (especially near the beginning), I lost a bit of interest, but that was just mostly Toby with his buddies. The story got much more interesting after Toby and his girlfriend Melissa moved in with Uncle Hugo. Really, the narrator was just fine. The last 2/3 of it definitely kept me interested and though a few things weren’t necessarily twists, there were a few of those thrown in, as well. ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 16, 2021 |
The Dublin Murder Squad Through the Back Door
Tana French is rather unique in her approach to a series of murder investigation novels, a genre I generally avoid. In her initial novels the reader’s point of view is that of the investigator. However, unlike your usual whodunit series, each novel introduced us to new detective, or at least one who had been quite a marginal character in a previous story. But this author delivered something different in the Dublin Murder Squad’s books. In the fifth book, “The Secret Place” the point of view alternates between one of the Murder D’s and a student. In this book, the entire Dublin Murder Squad is relegated to a supporting role, and the reader views the investigation from the point of view of one of its targets.
SPOILERS below
The protagonist in this story is Toby, a privileged and spoiled twenty-something living an uninspired life. While recovering from a brutal beating he received at the hands of burglars, he decides to move in with his terminally ill uncle. The Ivy House, where his uncle lives is where he spent the holidays of his youth with his two cousins of the same age. The body of one of their schoolmates, missing for ten years, is discovered in the witch elm in the garden. Suspicion falls on the three cousins. As the investigation proceeds, the intrigue of this novel intensifies, taking the reader on a psychological whodunit journey with plenty of plot twists. ( )
  Chipa | Apr 3, 2021 |
The Witch Elm. Tana French. 2018. This novel is not part of the author’s Dublin Murder series, but is a “stand alone.” Toby, a handsome young PR man who has a lovely girl friend comes home from a night at the bar with his guy friends and surprises 2 burglars in his apartment. He attacks one and is beaten and left for dead. He wakes up in a hospital unsure of what has happened to him. His memory remains shaky and physically he is a wreck. He can manage alone but doesn’t need to be in his apartment. His emotional recovery is slow and he struggles to become himself again. Someone suggests move to the family home to be with his uncle who is dying with a brain tumor. Toby spent many days and weeks there and loves his uncle who seems to manage fairly well. Toby’s girl friend goes with him. The three settle into a routine and Toby seems to be healing. The family comes for Sunday dinners, and one Sunday a young nephew discovers a skull in the back garden. All hell breaks loose. The skull is human, the body is found in the witch elm and the police began to suspect Toby and so does Toby! French is a great writer and certainly knows how to build suspense and develop characters. I thought the book was a little too long, but that may be because I had a lot going on and it took me a long time to finish it. The last hundred pages were really good. ( )
  judithrs | Mar 20, 2021 |
There is so much in this book that it is hard to really pinpoint anything specific as great or as horrible, but over all it was a good story - that tended to drag quite a few times. I’m not sure I really liked the main characters. Except for the uncle - he was awesome. I know a lot of people have not finished this one, but I think it is one of the better ones I’ve read from Tana French. I do feel she could’ve cut out some of it and still had the same result. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 15, 2021 |
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"A brilliant new work of suspense from "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years." (Washington Post) From the writer who "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker) and has been called "incandescent" by Stephen King, "absolutely mesmerizing" by Gillian Flynn, and "unputdownable" (People), comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out. Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed. A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are"--

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