THE WITCH ELM

by Tana French

A skull discovered in a backyard exposes a family's past. Read by Paul Nugent. 22 hours, 7 minutes unabridged.

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3 positive comments

1 neutral comments

1 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • But I'm fucking loving Her Body and Other Parties so far, so hopefully it goes fast and I can do Alice Isn't Dead,… https://t.co/7L8W4mSY9R
  • My copy of Tana French's new book is out for delivery. Please excuse me while I lock myself in my room and read. >>… https://t.co/kiPcw6J95A
  • @MarianKeyes I love the build up to a new Tana French book release almost as much as I love reading the book itself… https://t.co/rZAzktyGrc
  • I loved this book so much. Best book of 2018. 😍 The Witch Elm: A Novel https://t.co/caKxuDxqb0
  • I am reading Tana French's latest, The Witch Elm, and thinking about how a review headline to the effect of "This b… https://t.co/7E7YgOfnwL
  • 21 positive comments

    14 neutral comments

    31 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Tana French is an amazing writer. Her mysteries are well-written, interesting and engaging. She is one of my favorite authors; When I see that she has a new book about to be published, I immediately preorder it, anxiously await the novel’s release, devour it over the course of a few days, and am sorry when it is finished. Such was the case with her new novel Witch Elm with the exception that this time I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had anticipated I would.Witch Elm is long, a little over 500 pages, and unnecessarily so. A good edit could have cut out more than a hundred pages, possibly 200, which would have improved the pacing of the story. Initially there is a tremendous amount of background information, many pages of which were either unnecessary or redundant. It wasn’t until about page 200 that the story hooked me. At this point the story takes hold, but it isn’t long before it slows down again. The mysteries are engaging but again there is unnecessary, repetitive detail which doesn’t add to the story, but in fact detracts from it.Most of the characters are not likable and are unreliable, but I did love Uncle Hugo and Melissa. The family gatherings were also a nice, enjoyable touch in a fairly dark story. Although this was a well-crafted novel, I wasn’t really surprised by the conclusion. 500 pages later and I was a little bored.The chapters involving the police interviewing the family were tense, but felt real. The reader sees and feels the manipulation of the police. The author excels in this area. However, the choices that these characters made regarding their interactions with the police did not seem authentic. Who continues to have multiple conversations with the police without an attorney present when clearly they were considered suspects? Who submits to a search of their home without much protest and without contacting a family member for support? The police are walking in and out of the house as though it was their own. Additionally, there were a couple of unrealistic scenes that didn’t seem plausible.Don’t get me wrong, there is much to like here, but it takes patience.
    • French is very talented and I have enjoyed her previous books as clever diversions. With Witch Elm, I was with it until about the last 20%. There is a very jarring, deeply unnecessary plot twist near the end that caused me to drop out emotionally. It did not make sense and really wasn't very interesting, in the end. I was sad to have invested so much time in something that did not pay off. The first 4/5 of the book would have benefited from significant tightening, as well.
    • This is a long, somewhat tedious story told in the first person. The first half reads more like the memoir of a twenty-something fellow. It's 90% narrative and 10% rather banal dialogue. And that's the problem. I continued to read the story only because the author is Tana French, a favorite. The tale picks up during the second half. A bit more suspense but still too much opaque narrative.There is only one likable character in the story - Melissa. Inevitably she departs the scene. Who can blame her.Looking forward to Ms. French returning to her detective thrillers.
    • One of the worst books I have ever read. I am disappointed in myself for not putting it down after the first 100 pages. It is so long winded that I found myself skipping whole pages and not missing anything. I had read some good reviews about it and that kept me reading. But it was a boring waste of time.
    • I love this author's writing style and her amazingly complicated, and fully believable characters, rolled splendidly into a spellbinding plot. I'm so sad it is over! I plan to re-read it soon.