The Witch Elm: A Novel (Unabridged)
Named a New York Times Notable Book of 2018 and a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, The New York Times Book Review, Amazon, The Boston Globe, LitHub, Vulture, Slate, Elle, Vox, and Electric Literature
“Tana French’s best and most intricately nuanced novel yet.” —The New York Times
An “extraordinary” (Stephen King) and “mesmerizing” (LA Times) new standalone novel from the master of crime and suspense.
From the writer who “inspires cultic devotion in readers” (The New Yorker) and has been called “incandescent” by Stephen King, “absolutely mesmerizing” by Gillian Flynn, and “unputdownable” (People) comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out.
Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life—he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden—and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.
A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
Great narrator, incredibly slow book
This book was at least four times longer than it needed to be. It was unbearably repetitive and exhaustive in unnecessary detail and explanation. I almost gave up after realizing that 5 hours in, I hadn’t even reached the main plot yet, but I trudged on in hopes that there would be a grand reveal, an unforeseen twist, an earth shattering moral to this story. But after getting to the end, I have to say I still can’t quite see why this story needed to be so long. The core plot was overly convoluted as well, and the characters went through almost arbitrary shifts in motivation that left me feeling lost. I believe this writer has a great talent, however, and I will by all means check out her other work as this may just be not her best work. Five stars for this amazing narrator, however. Absolutely, hands down the most engaging telling of this story that could have been hoped for. Truly a delight to listen to, I will follow him to other authors for sure.