A writer’s career is on the downswing. His success came from a suspense novel about a history teacher who disappeared. Turns out having an affair with your student isn’t a bright idea, especially if she wants to move on with someone new.
This writer has written several other books since then, but none have been major hits. Maybe he focuses too much on war books. Maybe they don’t sell well, because they’re not based on real life.
Honestly, this book was great. It took me far too long to read, but I’ve been reading other books, comics, playing video games, getting ready for Christmas, and working, so it makes sense. But all in all, it was a joy to read, and it kept me wanting to know more.
Some common complaints about this book are that it can be confusing starting a third of the way in. It goes from the author being stalked by his neighbor, but then it starts developing sub-plots and background information, like what really happened with the history teacher. Flashbacks.
It can seem like Herman Koch took on more than he could handle, and scrambled to put it all together. Personally, I don’t think this though. I really had no issue following along, and it actually helped keep me on my toes the entire time.
Herman Koch can always be counted on to write novels that break molds, and Dear Mr. M is a great example of that. It’s dark, it has dark humor, and it carries on a major plot, connecting sub-plots, and an interesting narrator (the stalker). If you don’t mind some complexity, this is a must-read.
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