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Unknown: A Novel Paperback – January 12, 2011
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"A convincing little nightmare. A Twilight Zone-ish yarn that tests the very notion of how human identity is shaped."
"Simply thrilling. Its surprising denoument works a retrospective magic."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Compelling ... The terse prose is unpretentious and the plot is full of captivating twists."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"An engaging intellectual page-turner."
"Had Camus trained at the CIA, this is the book he would have written. A hauntingly literary espionage thriller."
-Brad Thor, author of State of the Union
"Van Cauwelaert starts with a premise that could serve a Hitchcock thriller, a Twilight Zone episode, or a heavy-going exercise in existentialism. But [he] nimbly sidesteps clichT and pretense.... The swift final scene-a breathtaking jetT-should surprise even the most jaded fan of thrillers. A little gem."
About the Author
Author Bio: DIDIER VAN CAUWELAERT is the author of several international bestsellers, including the critically acclaimed Unknown. He also wrote the libretto for the off-Broadway musical, Amour, which garnered five Tony nominations in 2003.
Translator Bio: MARK POLIZZOTTI has translated numerous books from the French, including works by Andre Breton, Jean Echenoz, Marguerite Duras, and Gustave Flaubert. He is the author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of Andre Breton, a collection of poems, The New Life, and the collaborative novel S. He lives in Massachusetts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book made me want to throw it on to the train tracks. I didnt want to complete this book; I got it because I thought it would be just as good as the movie. But I was wrong, dead wrong. So given that this post will be very short.
The reasons why I personally dislike this book it goes as followed,
1) It was boring. It did not hold my attention at all. I expected it to be like the movie, guess not.
2) Everything just started. It really didn't give me much to read and work with.
3) It wasn't anything like the movie.
Give that onto the rating we go. I actually rated this book of 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Keep this in mind this book has roughly 3.5 stars overall. Thanks again for reading!
This is a short read, a novella of 164 pages that you just won't want to put down. The ending comes and wraps up quickly in just a few pages, which is my only criticism of what up to then I would have labelled one of the best books I've read in a long time. It also sort of feels rushed in coming up as a how to end this brilliant up to then story solution. I'm interested now in checking out the movie just to see if it ends a bit better and clearer than the book.
Ok, so this came out in the movie theaters recently with Liam Neeson starring as Martin Harris, January Jones as the wife, and Helen Kruger as the taxi driver. Also the movie takes place in Berlin instead of Paris. But nevertheless, I'm always interested in what makes one book into a movie, while other books remain books. And reading the story, I can understand why Hollywood came calling.
First of all, the core of the book is a deep psychological mystery. What's it like to have another person living your life? Having the exact same childhood, spouse, and profession? At first glance, this may seem like a science fiction type set-up. But the good thing about this story is there's no fantasy involved. Everything is very real. The story pulls you in, and you walk alongside Harris--feeling the same emotions of confusion and anger as he does. The author makes it clear that something sinister is going on, but keeps you clueless until the end.
Another good aspect of this book were the characters. As the main character, Martin Harris is sympathetic. As he runs to the police and tries to speak to his wife, no one believes him, except for the taxi driver--another sympathetic character who is a single mother and in danger of losing her taxi license after the crash. In balance to the sympathetic characters, we have the shadowy characters--like Harris' wife, and Martin Harris #2.
Overall, this was a decent European thriller. It's super short and quick to read. There's no superfluous information, it's all about the main plot. For me, it was an enjoyable read. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Martin Harris believes he is the victim of identity theft.Read more