I was provided an ARC of Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch in exchange for my honest review.
Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M’s novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.
That was years ago, and now M’s career is fading. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him and his wife. Why?
From alternating points of view, where no one is to be trusted, Herman Koch weaves together an intricate 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 M’s novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.
With ever increasing tension, his signature sardonic wit and world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed performance that suspends readers in the mysterious space between fact and fiction.
This review is going to be pretty short, because I just could not get into this book. Dear Mr. M is a very complex psychological thriller. I did think it was a unique idea to have the story be told from the point of view of Mr. M’s stalker as if he is writing letters to Mr. M.
I did not finish this book, but desperately tried to get into the book so I could finish it. After hours of reading and getting through about 25% of the book, and this is a long book at 448 pages, I didn’t feel it was fair to force myself to read a book that held no interest to me.
If you enjoy a complex thriller, then this may be a book you want to try, but it just wasn’t the book for me.