Book Notes: Tana French’s The Witch Elm

Tana French is a great mystery / police procedural author from Ireland. But even a great author can produce a dud. And this novel is definitely it. And it’s such a shame because her previous novel was about the crisis, and it was so great. And then all of a sudden she steps away from all that and writes about some ridiculous adolescent drama of overgrown rich kids.

The novel did wonders for my sleep issues because it’s boring, unrealistic, meaningless, and the characters are ridiculous cliches without a spark of unpredictability. The gay character is a whiny, promiscuous, drug-addicted drama queen. The protagonist’s girlfriend is a supportive, cheerful, chirpy, self-sacrificing idiot who is always in a great mood and ready to help. The cop is every stereotype of a cop in existence. The protagonist himself is “toxic white masculinity” personified.

The only idea that the novel transmits – and whacks you on the head with it repetitively – is that men suck. Gay, straight, young, old, middle-aged, adolescent, healthy, disabled – they are either rabidly vicious or pathetically weak.

And God, the writing. People speak in endless monologues. The conversations are interminable, stilted, and extremely repetitive.

Do yourself a favor and don’t read it, is all I can say.

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