The Double Bind

The Double BindThis is a very creative premise but egregiously flawed Most of this book chronicles an investigation that the main character is conducting that links an old box of photos with a homeless man, her own troubled past, and The Great Gatsby She was a lot interested in where this all was leading than I was I was sort of lazily interested in the Gatsby thread because I just read it, but the rest of it was so repetitive and tiresome I could only read 5 10 pages at a time I did not like the main character or any character, really and I felt that I knew where it was going to end up Around the last 1 4 of the book, though, you start to get a feeling that something else is going on and only then did I become invested in finishing it Unfortunately, there s a big M Night Shyamalan ending that was partially cool and partially incoherent and frustrating It made me feel like I needed to read the book again, which I would never do unless under gunpoint This also made me permanently terrified of running in the forest preserve, one of my favorite activities Thanks for nothing, Chris Bohjalian. Notice there are no stars associated with this review If only there was a choice for black hole This book was dreadful Horrible Awful A few years ago I read his Midwives , which I really liked, so I thought I d like this too Wrong It is billed as a literary thriller Oh, really I swear, the suspense and thrills are elegantly crafted in an average episode of Scooby Doo than in this piece of crap book And literary I think it was poorly written It drove me to distraction the way the author avoided writing she , but instead referred to people as thier occupation I wonder how many times the social worker appeared in the book Way too many This book has gotten such good reviews I just don t understand it The main character is a social worker who works at a homeless shelter One of the former clients dies and in his possession are photographs and Laurel the social worker takes an interest in them The interest promptly turns to obsession The photos are of many subjects famous people, etc , but Laurel recognizes a house from her hometown in one and guess what It s the house from The Great Gatsby, and the people in the picture are the children of Tom and Daisy Buchanan Laurel immediately and irrationally assumes insists that the boy in the picture is the dead homeless man and she sets out to prove it and find out how he ended up homeless and alone At first I thought bringing in characters from The Great Gatsby was an annoying plot device And very lazy Like dude, make up you own characters It made no sense why the author chose to use those people and their story And WHY was Laurel acting so crazy and pursuing this even though she had NOTHING to back up her assumptions Oh, I forgot When Laurel was in college she was attacked while riding her bike and saved from certain rape at the last possible moment, so she s sill living with the aftereffects of that even though it seems like she goes overboard about it at times So we ve got this chick acting all nuts and we ve got The Great Gatsby crap going on, and I DO NOT CARE about the story or the characters SPOILER ALERT So why is Laurel acting like a loon Oh, what, didn t the author bother to TELL us before the last chapter It s because she IS crazy, silly And she didn t ALMOST get raped and brutalized a few years ago She really WAS raped and mutilated and left for dead So see There s a REASON she s acting so nutty incidentally, the exposition of the truth of her attack was presented very clumsily and I was offended reading about it Oh, and the reason that the Gatsby characters were in the book It was all in Laurel s imagination Those people aren t REAL, you fool Now why were you thinking they were actual characters in the book you just read I m getting mad again just thinking about this book Boy, did I hate it There s to hate, but I guess I should wrap this up Ok, there s one reason I hated it, and it was because of the reader on the audiobook version I listened to another book that Susan Denaker read, and she kind of annoyed me, but I got through it ok This time, she bugged the hell out of me The combo of the bad book and her voice created the perfect storm of hate Her voice is very smooth and sounds well trained and full and I wouldn t be surprised if she wins awards for it But after a while it comes off as haughty and strident and she over dramatizes and I don t think I will ever be able to listen to her again Ever Well, do you get the idea that I did NOT have a good experience with this book I felt manipulated and used by the end, and the whole time I was irritated because things just didn t add up The way it was all wrapped up at the end was rushed and seemed like an afterthought Honestly, I do not understand why anybody liked it Maybe if I had read it instead of listened to it I wouldn t have hated it so much, but I still don t think I would have liked it Soooo I have spent much time and energy thinking about this bad book than I have ever spent on my favorite books Why is that I want to warn you On the other hand I want you to read it and agree with me On the other other hand I want you to read it and like it so I can hold you in contempt Not really Please, I beg you, even if you read it and do like it, I don t want to know Ok, I m done. 3 stars Tough one to describe you ve got a rape victim, the mystery surrounding a homeless man and The Great Gatsby all mixed inmental illness a big part of it and there s this weird blurring of reality and fiction, guess I ll tag it physiological suspense A survival mechanism, we all do it, avoid confronting problems by throwing our energy into just about anything else ah the tantalizing lure of distraction Physically healed but with psychological wounds to painful to confrontSometimes a forgiving memory was the only way to get byshe s obsessed with Bobbie s mysterious past, a gentle man who walked into the shelter announcingHoney, I m home less, and died leaving nothing behind but his brilliant photographs I got her connection with him, two damaged, discarded people Bobbie by society, Laurel by her rapists Understood her determination to push others to respect him despite his mental illness as also an attempt at self healing, a way of clawing back her own self worth.Doesn t matter if you loved or hated The Great Gatsby , trust me this doesn t romanticize the characters and its inclusion makes an odd sort of senseThe Great Gastsby is a book, in part, about broken people, their lies and distortions the lies we live consciouslyBottom line it s readable imaginative, liked its sensitive portrayal of the homeless There is this feeling of unease about it though, worked for me but absolutely a matter of taste Cons Sometimes bogged down by repetitiveness and I swear Bohjalian s deliberately confusing at times Warning Graphic rape passages precariously straddle that exploitive line Thought it important to the storyline so okay with it you decideYeah, that was Bobbie Crocker While some old codgers are playing golf in Fort Lauderdale, he was summering behind a Dumpster on Cherry Street and spending his winters in the state mental hospital I really wanted to like this book, as I found the premise fascinating The execution, though, was so weak that it was almost unbearable to force my way through the entire book.The story centers on Laurel, who survived a brutal attack as a young college student She graduates from college, dates older men, and works at a homeless shelter, where she comes across a man named Bobbie, who carries with him a mysterious box of photographs Laurel becomes obsessed with the photographs and with figuring out where Bobbie came from and how he ended up in her homeless shelter Bohjalian s exposition is dreadful It frustrated me that he gave Laurel a mystery to solve, but gave the reader the answer on the very first page of the first chapter It s enticing if the reader is trying to solve the mystery alongside the characters, clever to dangle the hints in front of us to see if we catch on to them The character development was just as weak as the exposition The book jacket told me that Laurel was so traumatized by her almost rape that she withdrew from society and began working at the homeless shelter as a means of dealing with it However, this wasn t a part of the story at all, outside of the prologue, where it was briefly touched on in the form of a few sentences As the story goes on, Laurel barely seems to be affected by the attack at all, except when Bohjalian explicitly states that she doesn t like having sex in the missionary position because it makes her think of her attackers and that she doesn t like to be in the state of Vermont on the anniversary of the attack None of the secondary characters had any depth whatsoever Laurel s roommate, smitten neighbor, much older boyfriend, and shelter coworkers were all flat and acted without motivation or reason The biggest weakness in this book, though, is the supposed twist ending that much of the events, view spoiler including the Gatsby connections and the fact that her boyfriend has two daughters, exist only in Laurel s head This is a cheap way of ending the novel made especially problematic by the fact that Bohjalian had given these supposedly imaginary characters their own scenes where they actually have their own thoughts, personalities, and interactions with real characters If he wanted us to believe that these characters were non existant, then we never should have seen them outside of their interactions with Laurel hide spoiler Ce mai roman tulbur tor i ncurcat Poate pare prozaic, simplist Adev rul e ns c via a e plin de momente care par prozaice p n c nd le prive ti de la dep rtare i atunci i dai seama de irul de evenimente pe care le au declan at. I figured out the supposed twist as soon as I read the psychiatrist s notes The effort taken to write them as genderless came off as odd and clunky The whole thing came off to me as disjointed and in need of editing There were some glaring mistakes a child eating a caramel apple is described as having made a mess with it and it being red like blood all over her face and handsum, caramel is BROWN Everyone is described, even right in the middle of dialogue where we know all of their names, by their occupation The waitress said blah blah blah Blah blah blah, said the young social worker And my favorite word of all and apparently the author s as well DOWAGER Who has used that word in the last century I was jolted out of the story each time An 11 year old child wonders what is really going on with Laurel AKA The Social Worker since she has noticed the glimpses of darkness behind the veil, or some such nonsense As the mother of an actual 11 year old, I can assure you that one would only notice a dark veil if the X Box is in use behind it They could care less about the moody secrets of adults around them, except for how it affects them directly, such as if the adult is ordering pizza or is about to demand that chores or homework be finished None of the characters in the book seem true to themselves, if that makes any sense In the end I found I was indifferent to all of them.The sad thing is, the premise was promisinga volunteer at a homeless shelter finds a box of photographs that belonged to a recently deceased resident While looking through them, she comes upon a photograph of a young girl on a bike in a familiar landscape, and realizes it is a photograph of herself on the very day she was attacked and raped years before I could go on and on about the many ways this book grated on my nerves, but here are a few Robert Buchanan sees a picture of a fictional housewife and decides to change his name to Bobbie Crocker Why the feminine spelling Bobbie instead of the masculine Bobby Why was the homeless shelter repeatedly referred to as the acronym BEDS as if that was the actual name I cringed every time I came across BEDS cringing now Anyway, back to the name change The newly minted Bobbie Crocker joins the army The paragraph describing this is so poorly written that I will simply copy it here from page 295 If the Army had any doubts about the mental health of a recruit whose moniker must have reminded them of a cake mix, they weren t sufficient to prevent them from allowing him to wade ashore at Omaha Beach in one of the very first waves behind the demolition teams Bobbie would fight that year and into the next in France and Belgium and Germany, somehow escaping the war unscathed Physically, anyway He had an affair with a French woman who was in many ways even scarred than he was, given how much of her family had died in the first German offensive in May 1940 and then fighting in North Africa in 1943 She lost two brothers, a cousin, and her father He wanted to bring her back with him to the United States, but she wouldn t leave her family the living and the dead.The Army should have had doubts about his mental health because his last name was Crocker Can you say run on sentence Who edited this Somehow I resisted throwing the book against the wall at this point I should not have fought the urge Limping along to the most unbelievable, contrived and trite ending, the reader finds that SURPRISE Laurel is the one in the psychiatrist s chair, and that most of the characters were invented by her crazed mind Imagine that Of course, the fact that all of the made up characters had scenes without Laurel involved, and their own thoughts, actions and opinions make that plot twist ludicrousbut what did you expect from a book that takes the characters of The Great Gatsby and pretends they are real people Until the end, anyway Laurel is crazy That s why she thinks the Gatsbys were her neighbors Get the big twist there gag I just noticed I didn t write a review on The Double Bind.How did that happen I must have either read it before I joined Goodreads or was such a newbie Goodreads member I just didn t write reviews yet.I ve told dozens of people to read this I ve bought this book as a gift several times its THAT GOOD Completely unforgettable I could write much about this story but some books are best knowing very little about and just trusting you ll have an extraordinary reading experience Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through the Vermont back roads.Her life is changed forever.Maybe my favorite psychological thriller books of all times I would highly recommend this book to all book clubbers out there, because after you read it, you just want to talk to someone else who s read it Kind of like after seeing the movie the Sixth Sense There is a prerequisite that comes with this novel and that is to read or re read The Great Gatsby This is a must in order to understand all the references and parallels with Fitzgerald s novel Bohjalian brings the characters from The Great Gatsby to life From reading the other reviews of The Double Bind, I see that people either love it or hate it Yes, sometimes the language and word choice can be a bit bizarre, but I don t think that takes away from the story at all I really think the story works and even if you have an inkling about the big shocker ending, Ummmm SO WHAT That s what s part of the suspense of reading a novel like this, to find if what we suspect is true That s why I couldn t put it down at least Besides, I don t think that anyone could say truthfully that they had every part of this novel figured out before the end.I can t say too much else without giving anything away, but there are many many discussions about many many topics that could be spawned from this book, apparently even the writing itself is up for debate, but I love a book I can t put down and this one kept me up at night. Offensively bad Poorly written and or poorly edited likely both oh dear crap, it was awful Overwritten Stupid Carelessly written Used the word dowager at least five hundred times so much that I laughed out loud and wished I d made a drinking game of it And it was UNNECESSARY Who edited this Who allowed epoxied to stand in for glued three times on three consecutive pages in totally needless contexts Who greenlighted dowager so many damn times Who decided to refer to Laurel as the social worker in such a manner that it became absurdly confusing as to who THE HELL he was referring to No, really I want to know who edited this Has Chris Bohjalian reached such great heights that he doesn t NEED an editor Because someone should tell him that he does Someone should also have told him that he wrote better books than this in the past, and that maybe he should have trashed it and started over again at the drawing board The plot if you can call it that was so incredibly inane, the character s so unlikable, that I honestly didn t give a rip about what was happening I don t even care enough to summarize it for you, because it would be laughable, and explains why the book description didn t REMOTELY match what the story was about Like, at all I slogged forward because I felt an obligation to make it through to the twist which I figured out at a stupidly early time, such was the sad transparency of what he d written the whole time thinking, this better be one hell of a twist perhaps one that did my laundry for me and served me crackers and cheese in bed for me to feel AT ALL decent about having suffered through this piece of utter crap DOWAGER JESUS CHRIST HE SAID IT A THOUSAND TIMES EPOXIED I EPOXIED MY FIST TO MY FACE OUT OF FRUSTRATION ABOUT THE DOWAGER USAGE HOW IS THAT, CHRIS SOUND GOOD BECAUSE I DID I am so distraught that I slogged through this that I I can t even articulate it without being a jerk, as I just finished it RUN RUN AWAY Awful Awful awful awful. In Chris Bohjalian S Astonishing Novel, Nothing Is What It At First Seems Not The Bucolic Vermont Back Roads College Sopho Laurel Estabrook Likes To Bike Not The Savage Assault She Suffers Toward The End Of One Of Her Rides And Certainly Not Bobbie Crocker, The Elderly Man With A History Of Mental Illness Whom Laurel Comes To Know Through Her Work At A Burlington Homeless Shelter In The Years Subsequent To The AttackIn His Moments Of Lucidity, The Gentle, Likable Bobbie Alludes To His Earlier Life As A Successful Photographer Laurel Finds It Hard To Believe That This Destitute, Unstable Man Could Once Have Chronicled The Lives Of Musicians And Celebrities, But A Box Of Photographs And Negatives Discovered Among Bobbie S Meager Possessions After His Death Lends Credence To His Tale How Could Such An Accomplished Man Have Fallen On Such Hard Times Becoming Obsessed With Uncovering Bobbie S Past, Laurel Studies His Photographs, Tracking Down Every Lead They Provide Into The Mystery Of His Life Before Homelessness Including Links To The Rich Neighborhoods Of Her Own Long Island Childhood And To The Earlier World Of F Scott Fitzgerald S The Great Gatsby, With Its Larger Than Life Characters, Elusive Desires, And Haunting SorrowsIn A Narrative Of Dazzling Invention, Literary Ingenuity, And Psychological Complexity, Bohjalian Engages Issues Of Homelessness And Mental Illness By Evoking The Humanity That Inhabits The Core Of Both At The Same Time, His Tale Is Fast Paced And Riveting The Double Bind Combines The Suspense Of A Thriller With The Emotional Depths Of The Most Intimate Drama The Breathtaking Surprises Of Its Final Pages Will Leave Readers Stunned, Overwhelmed By The Poignancy Of Life S Fleeting Truths, As Caught In Bobbie Crocker S Photographs And In Laurel Estabrook S Painful Pursuit Of Bobbie S Past And Her Own Behind The Double BindWhile Bobbie Crocker, The Photographer In The Double Bind, Is Fictitious, The Photographs That Appear In The Book Are Real They Were Taken By A Man Named Bob Soupy Campbell, Who, As Chris Bohaljian Explains In His Author S Note, Had Gone From Photographing Luminaries From The S And S To Winding Up At A Homeless Shelter In Northern Vermont Bohaljian S Viewing Of Campbell S Work After The Photographer S Death Provided An Inspiration For The Double Bind We Tend To Stigmatize The Homeless And Blame Them For Their Plight, Bohjalian Writes We Are Oblivious To The Fact That Most Had Lives As Serious As Our Own Before Everything Fell Apart The Photographs In This Book Are A Testimony To That Reality

Follow Chris Bohjalian on Goodreads to see what s on the nightstand Chris Bohjalian is the 1 New York Times bestselling author of 20 books His work has been translated into 35 languages and three times become movies.His most recent novel, The Flight Attendant, debuted as a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and National Indiebound Bestseller It was announced in

❮EPUB❯ ✻ The Double Bind Author Chris Bohjalian –
  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages
  • The Double Bind
  • Chris Bohjalian
  • English
  • 21 November 2019
  • 9781400047468

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