27 November, 2013

#BookReview :: The Conversationalist by Justin Bog

The Conversationalist---(A Novella)---a psychological thriller set in the San Juan Islands area and centered in today's dating scene.
There's something wrong with Patrick. People whisper about him; most want to help him, as if he's a songless bird with a broken wing, make him a project, set him up on a date with a best friend . . .
On one such date, Wendy sits across from Patrick and tells him she's afraid to die. She wonders what it's like. What if this is all there is? "My mother died a year ago . . . horribly," she says. Patrick listens; it's all he's pretending to do.
There's something wrong with the way Patrick treats the women he dates, his friends, his family . . . no one can ever get close to Patrick, and no one will ever be able to uncover his secret.

The Conversationalist is set in the San Juan Islands with the basic theme of modern day dating scene. Patrick is the odd one out in the town and everyone thinks that there is something wrong with him. Living in his deceased parents’ cottage we get a glimpse into Patrick’s life and his mind all the while he struggles to ‘date’.

This Novella is aptly tagged as a psychological thriller. In most cases, we see that the psychological aspect just touches the base and thrills without an edge – but not in this case. Justin Bog delves right into these aspects through Patrick, the oddball and Wendy, the woman obsessed with death. It is difficult to discuss the plot without giving out spoilers and so all I will say about it is that it is nothing like anything that you can guess. It is different and twisted and has a magnetic quality to it that keeps the reader turning it very few pages. And yeah, that is another quality that I admire about this author. He tells us all his fascinating stories using minimal words and yet create an effect that even very complicating novels can fail in creating. As I turned (or swiped on my kindle) to the last page, I felt like I was in a trance that broke with the blank space at the end of the book.

When I first read Justin Bog’s Sandcastle and other stories, I was taken aback by his dark themes and gritty writing style. As I re-read a few of the stories from Sandcastle before picking up this one, I felt that I was more ready for what was to come. Yet I was taken by surprise once again. Almost like standing on a train track and waiting for a train to make it through the last bend, and then all of a sudden it is just there. I don’t have words for the experience that this book brings with – you have to experience it for yourself! So don’t wait – just pick it up… NOW!

Buy this Book

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful place to see a review for my "invisible" stories . . . very few readers have found The Conversationalist, and I thank you for taking the time to enter Patrick's world.