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The Farm Hardcover – June 3, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2014: The Farm is the sum of its parts: a psychological thriller written with the intricate plotting and pacing of a spy novelist. Tom Rob Smith, best known for the Cold War-era series Child 44, steps out of his comfort zone to deliver a he-said she-said mystery that rivals the delicate balancing act of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Daniel visits his parents, only to discover that his mother and father no longer trust each other. In fact, something so sinister may be at play that his entire life could be a lie. You'll go back and forth between believing and doubting the mother’s conspiracies about a girl who goes missing in a small Swedish town. Smith cleverly places the burden of the narrative on Daniel’s interior dilemma--the guilt of choosing one parent over the other and his unwillingness to let go of the parents he once thought he understood. I won't give anything away, but the truth turns out to be both a satisfying resolution of plot and an emotionally crushing finale. --Kevin Nguyen
"Tom Rob Smith breathes new life into the landscape, transcending the traditional crime fiction genre with an intricately-knitted thriller steeped in mythology...[Smith] demonstrates the same craftsmanship that saw his highly-acclaimed novel Child 44 claim the Galaxy Book Award for Best New Writer and [be] long-listed for the Manbooker Prize, among its many plaudits. Meticulously weaving together literary themes of revenge and madness...this latest offering is a tapestry of fairytales old and new; so unsettling and oppressive that it blurs the distinctions between sanity and madness, reality and fantasy, leaving the reader guessing until the bitter end."―The Independent (UK)
"The Farm sustains its high dramatic pitch from London to Sweden and back through an immersive and tough-to-predict series of revelations about falsehoods and fantasies."―The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Tom Rob Smith's The Farm is an absorbing, unsettling, multilayered novel...The Farm is beautifully crafted, its effect enhanced by the author's admission that his own family faced a similar experience."―The Times (UK)
"'Impossible to put down' has become as overused a thing to say about books as the one saying that the people writing them should stick with what they know. In the case of The Farm, it is close to true (I read it in about three sittings and real life felt like an impertinent interruption whenever I had to put it down). Child 44 was one of those rare books that managed to thrill both the Booker judges and the Richard and Judy brigade. The Farm is, perhaps, even better. It is so good, in fact, that you will finish it quickly and then be jealous of anyone who hasn't read it yet."―The Independent (UK)
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (June 3, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0446550736
- ISBN-13 : 978-0446550734
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,083,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Rob Smith is an excellent writer, but this was a literary experiment gone completely wrong. So disappointing.
The saddest part is that neither the mother Tilde nor her semi-closeted gay son are even remotely sympathetic characters in my opinion. And why this element of the son's sexuality was even introduced to the story line baffles me; he is only incidentally gay and, besides the fact that his supremely tolerant boyfriend foots most of the expenses incurred in his various quests, there is nothing that even connotes a need for this aspect of his character.
The ending seems rushes when compared to the interminably drawn out bulk of the initial story, and the story abruptly closes leaving me with an apethetic, "So what?"
Tilde in the book and his mother are two very different people with different histories, and the Tilde of his creation has had a far different history as much as Daniel, the narrator/protagonist, is far different from Tom Rob Smith. He had to set up a deceit for Daniel, providing him with a motivation for keeping secrets from his parents. One thing that I also remember his saying, it takes him about two years to write a book. His earlier trilogy required much research, and this one, much soul searching. It made me almost feel guilty for only taking a few days to read it, sometimes, reading a book in a day that someone has labored over for years.
Top reviews from other countries
It is intricately plotted and brings rural Sweden to life. As a reader, you never know if Tilde's (Daniel's mum) story is real or the product of a fevered mind. There is much drama and danger, whether real or imagined by Tilde. The ending is very satisfying. A brilliant read.
In all honesty, I found most of this extremely confusing and quite slow. I wasn’t gripped nor particularly interested and I found a lot of this simply hard work to get through.