Friday, September 9, 2016

Review: Dear Mr M by Herman Koch

Blurb from Goodreads:
Mr M is being watched. As a famous writer, he is no stranger to the limelight, although interest in his work has been dwindling of late. His print runs are smaller than they used to be, and so are the crowds at his bookshop signings. But there is someone still interested in Mr M and keeping an extremely close eye on him—someone whose own story bears more than a passing resemblance to the plot of Mr M’s bestselling thriller, in which a teacher has an affair with a student, only to be brutally murdered by the girl and her teenage boyfriend. In Mr M’s book, the body is never found—but in real life, bodies have an awkward habit of turning up.
My Review:
You won't know where this is going until you're at least a third of the way in -- there are different parts, linked to different POVs and it's hard to understand how they fit together. However, once you get over the hurdle -- and it's an easy feat since the story is interesting and the writing is unique -- you will be a blindsided and totally intrigued.  I hate to give too much away, but I think you will be more inclined to read this if I tell you a bit about the plot. The best way I can describe this is that Mr. M is a famous author although his work has become considerably less popular in recent years. His most famous book is about two students that may have killed their teacher -- based on a true story -- but his book has taken significant artistic license. This book begins by immersing us into a conversation with Mr. M (we're not sure who is on the other end) but someone is watching Mr. M.  And then, the true story behind Mr. M's most famous book intersects with his current life and, suffice it to say, but all hell kind of breaks loose. I often thought I knew how things might turn out but there were so many facets, complexities and points of view that all added to the story and provided such rich layers and, truly, I didn't have a clue. Some of the passages were so spot on! Definitely a unique read and I can't wait to read more of this author's work (he has some very critically acclaimed books in his backlist).

Dear Mr. M came out earlier this week on September 6, 2016 and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you're looking for an unconventional thriller. This was creepy (and I wasn't even sure why) but also so literary. From one of the POV/narrations, I had a few I'm Thinking of Ending Things vibes.  Also, I loved this recent conversation with the author about this book and that I linked to on Monday.
A writer shouldn't want to remember everything it's much more important to be able to forget?   
By that, I mostly meant that you need to be able to separate the useful memories from the useless ones.  It's handy if your memory does that for you.  But it almost never works that way.  We remember things that are no good to us.  Phone numbers.  I once read somewhere that when we memorize phone numbers we're misusing our memory.  Phone numbers can be written down.  After that we're allowed to forget them.  And that we should use the space then freed in our memories for more important recollections.


  1. I really like the simple cover for this, it is kind of eye catching in its own right. Great review and Happy Friday!

  2. You had me at blindsided. I need to read this one! I keep seeing it on Instagram. I'll have to add it to my to buy list for sure. Lovely review!
    Genesis | Latte Nights Reviews

  3. I don't care for adult books, but do I love ones with great twists that leave you guessing all the way until the end.

  4. I recently started seeing this book pop up on newsletters and the like and have been wondering about it -- I am impressed it left you guessing, you usually tend to see twists coming I think!

  5. I love the premise of this one - how art is imitating life (or life imitating art?). So intriguing. I'm glad you mentioned the start being rather confusing, though. Sounds like it's one of those books you just need to stick with until things start to come together.

  6. You definitely have me interested with this one! I hadn't heard of it but need to add it. I will know to hang on until it all clicks. Great review!

  7. I've been told so many times that I need to read this author's book, The Dinner. I kept putting it back on the library shelf. You have me interested in this one. Great review as always!

  8. I loved The Dinner and can't wait to read this one. Sounds fantastic!!


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