2010 Crime

Blueeyedboy – Joanne Harris

I have been wanting to read a Joanne Harris book for a long time – I own almost all of them! For some inexplicable reason they never seem to make it to the top of the TBR pile. I then spotted that Blueeyedboy was going to be the first bookclub choice on The Wright Stuff (a morning UK magazine show) and so made the effort to read it in time for programme on Friday 14th May.

Blueeyedboy is written in the form of blog entries with each chapter ending in the comments the post received. The posts are written on a site called badboysrock which encourages people with murderous fantasies to engage with one another.

Initially I loved the descriptions of the little boy growing up; the insecurities he felt and the pressure of being the only one of his siblings to still be alive. Unfortunately, about 150 pages in, everything began to fall about. The book began to concentrate on his murderous fantasies and the line between what he’d made up and what had happened became increasingly blurred. I’m sure this was deliberate, but it confused me.

I think the message of the book was that we can’t trust what we read online, that we can all pretend to be whoever we want to be; but as a reader I’d have liked to know which bits were supposed to be true. The further into the book I got the more muddled everything became and the plot just seemed to disappear into increasingly dark areas. This confusion made it almost impossible for me to engage with the characters, most of whom I already disliked.

The comments at the end of each chapter ruined the flow of the book for me and I didn’t find them very realistic. I also found the big reveal at the end to be a disappointment.

It was an interesting premise, but I’m afraid it didn’t work for me.

Opinions seem to be very mixed….

I loved the whole unsettling process! Lovely Treez Reads

….it felt too chaotic… The Book Whisperer

…difficult to really care about what happens to any of the characters in the book Euro Crime

Joanne Harris is clearly a very skilled writer and I have heard wonderful things about her other books, so I plan to try another one soon.

Which Joanne Harris book should I try next?

I think the mixed opinions make this a fantastic book club choice. I am really looking forward to seeing the discussion on The Wright Stuff tomorrow morning.

Updated 14th May

I’ve just watched The Wright Stuff and was very impressed by the discussion of this book. It was quite sad that they didn’t manage to find someone who loved it as that would have added to the debate, but I admired their honesty, their professionalism and their ability to focus on the book. I thought it was a much better discussion than the TV Book Club and look forward to following the rest of the series.

Did you watch the show?