Hardcover: 306 pages
Publisher: Viking Books (2 Aug 2012)
Firstly, kind thanks to the publishers, for granting me the permission to review this book via Netgalley for no charge, for an honest review. This book was read on my kindle.
From the New York Times bestselling author, a first novel as spellbinding as her acclaimed nonfiction
At thirty-four, Nick Walsh is a broken, deeply cynical man. Since the violent deaths of his parents thirteen years earlier, he has been living alone in his childhood home in the suburban Midwest, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. A measure of solace is provided by his newly found relationship with Monica, a mysterious woman who seems to harbor as many secrets as he does.
Obsessed with understanding the circumstances surrounding his parents' deaths and deranged by his relentless sorrow, Nick begins a campaign of spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones he has covertly installed in their houses. As he observes with amusement and disbelief all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that his neighbors do to themselves and to one another, and as he, in turn, learns that he is being stalked, he begins to slowly unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.
At once unsettling and moving, humorous and horrifying, Thy Neighbor explores the nature of grief, the potential isolation of suburban life, and who we really are when we think no one is watching. What readers and critics have admired in Norah Vincent's nonfiction is completely unleashed in this vivid and provocative novel.
Many thanks to the publishers for granting me access to review this book, for which it was kindly received via Edelweiss. This was read on my Kindle and the review is of my honest opinion. I wanted to read this book initially because i was intruged by the synopsis and the cover was different, unique but in an odd way. However, i am sad to say that i wish i had never given this book a second glance because then i wouldn't have started to read this. This book is the first book that i haven't finished, it is totally unlike me to not finish a book but it seriously put me in a reading funk! I have struggled to read since because i am not motivated to pick up any other book and normally i love reading! I don't know why but this book, along with another i was reading at the time, both compounded this effect. I did not want to pick this book up, it was not a page turner for me and it was a struggle to read. I gave it a good go! I read approximately 44% and i hate to not finish a book. I just couldn't with this.
It was a very odd book, especially in the beginning, it was disjointed, sentences that didn't make sentence, the use of the most odd and weird metaphors and i have included some quotes that make me recoil. The main character Nick, just seems an odd, creepy guy who is spying on people via camera's in their houses, he has a friend called Dave, who also creeped me out. I did not take to Nick at all, i disliked him so much and i didn't even feel sorry for him- his upbringing as an only child was apparently privileged but his dad killed his mother and then killed himself with a gun.
This is how he describes himself;
"Depressed, destroyed and crushed beneath the boot of fate""I am, to put it limply, a lost boy playingat lost generation before my father blew my mother into the next life with the family. 45 and then tasted the muzzle for himself one summer evening while i was off finding myself in the national parks and legal whorehouses"He has a connection with Dave as they both had dads who are dead, Dave got left a business and Nick got left a free house....the house is the setting and from the start of the book, Nick didn't leave. The writing style was just horrid, with crude words; 'C' word for female anatomy! To try and explain how much i disliked this book i will add some quotes. Please note these quotes are from the 'Advanced readers copy' rather than the final edition-that would need to be checked to see if these quotes are still included.
"Workers of the world we might as well be wearing burlap gray pajamas, marching everyday to our salt mines of finance and information technology, hurrying home fully coked (pharmaceutically, if necessary to pound our pixy stick wives into fruition"
"When they're picking up their kids for soccer practice or propping their eyes open with triple shots of Mcspresso to make it through the four pm fit of narcolepsy at shiteco, I'm just having my blissful waking piss"
With Dave, who is often referred to as "twat" and "shitpole"- "Drink together at least 3 nights a week and drive each other crawling into the vomitorium at dawn because neither of us can resist the talent of "'pussy'"There is also substance abuse going on with reference to getting pills/meds (benzos) on the side and taking with alcohol mimicking sleep. He also has a life of Dayquil, nicorette and Gatorade.
Can you see why i disliked it so much, such an uncomfortable read. However, some people did enjoy it, so please check out Goodreads as there are other reviews on there.
Zero stars from me....but 1 star on Goodreads for a 'didn't like!'