Select language, opens an overlay


Book - 2012 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Devastated by the death of his wife in the middle of winter, David discovers a complex series of notes threatening his wife and is introduced by a detective to people who do not appear to have his best interests in mind.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374533076
Call Number: FICTION GRAY 2012
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 19 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 03, 2019

The reviews state things like: devastated, and shocked by the loss of, but, really, David doesn't seem shocked. Or devastated. This book, to me, really seems about the, almost grotesque bare bones of a human losing his mind, the death of his wife being the catalyst. There is no single moment in this book where he actually acknowledges that his wife is dead, and that he is sad. No: 'Franny is dead. What will I do without her?' moment. Instead, the book describes his mental insanity, things that may or may not be real, and mysterious, sinister threats. The mystery of the threats is never solved, nor the death of his wife, which is described as this: she comes out, feet bloody, blood everywhere, out of the yard. She vomits on her dress. He rushes over, asks if she's okay, which she obviously is not. She says not to call anyone. Says she loves him. He somehow sits in the basement with her, for THREE DAYS while she dies and her body begins to decompose. Really, anyone would be slightly insane after such a macabre experience, but there are many, many unanswered questions: why didn't he call 911 when his wife is bleeding, vomiting, and dying, instead choosing to sit with her while her corpse decomposes? Why was she dying? What happened? Also, who is sending these mysterious threats? (I know the assumption is that it was his wife, but it was never explicitly stated.) Why does he not wear to be actually grieving? He never seems shocked at all, almost like it's a completely benign occurrence, yet one that shatters his mental health forever.....This book is confusing. Odd. Grotesque, macabre, a study of the unique breakage of one man's mind. Read at your own risk: fine writing, confusing plot.

Mar 13, 2016

I liked this book a lot. The atmosphere of ambiguous menace was beautifully created. The threats themselves were almost like prose poems, reminiscent of Jenny Holzer's "Inflammatory Essays" installation series and Gray's own story collection AM/PM. If you like bracing literary experiments with character and narrative, but Threats on your list.

Nov 08, 2015

I originally gave this 2 stars and maybe that was a bit harsh. I think a 2.5 is more accurate. This book is weird. The first page talked about a decaying basement, decaying leaves, dust, mold, etc. if you want to read a book based on a persons inner thoughts that's literally losing their mind, then you may enjoy this. David's wife dies under mysterious circumstances and the rest of the novel is a whodunnit/portrait of grief experienced by a husband who's lost everything. But as a protagonist, David is kind of unreliable because he's totally losing his marbles. I can dig weird and creepy and dark, but I just couldn't get into this.

dollfacecrafter Oct 31, 2012

this book is so weird, I couldn't understand what was going on, there was no point or no explanations !!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top