Orient by Christopher Bollen w/ Giveaway


Print Length: 624 pages
Publisher: Harper (May 5, 2015)

As summer draws to a close, a Small Long Island town is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths— and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out.

A literary mystery, heavy on literary with the mystery pulling together the last quarter of the book.

I have never read a novel with such well developed characters. You are privy to personalities, thoughts, psyche. Backgrounds revealed providing comprehensive development. The small close knit town of Orient is fully presented in minute particulars. You’ll feel as if you’re looming above silently absorbing the residents in the private unaccepting community to outsiders as the epic story unleashes.

I have mixed feelings regarding the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed the literary feel. I had no idea where the story would lead, what characters would be involved, intrigue was plentiful. I vacillated between being utterly absorbed to totally distracted. Parts became long winded and too drawn out. I appreciate details, often abundant details cause disturbances. Clearly more tell than show serving well but tedious at times. Zero predictability, satisfying conclusion.

Mills served as a wonderful main character, and I liked Beth and her personal struggles. They way these two became friends eliminated the sterile feeling which would would have existed if these two didn’t breathe life into Orient and all it holds. Given the number of characters I can’t help but feel a few could have been removed. Luz felt like unnecessary filler in an already jammed packed narrative, her absence would not have been missed. There were moments feeling as if too many cooks were in the kitchen, on the other hand, the mix added plausibility and texture to this esoteric hamlet.

Literary fans will love the burst of mystery Bollen masterfully crafts. A read meant to be enjoyed slowly with its keen details. Quite a little town with plenty of intrigue, inhabitants full of secrets and conniving ideas.

Christopher BollenAbout Christopher Bollen

Christopher Bollen is an editor at large for Interview magazine. He is the author of the novel Lightning People, and his work has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, the Believer, and Artforum, among other publications. He lives in New York.

Find out more about Christopher at his website.


To enter to win a copy of Orient please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 4/28/15

Excited to be included in the tour for Christopher Bollen’s Orient. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!


5 thoughts on “Orient by Christopher Bollen w/ Giveaway

  1. Someone introduced this to me as the ‘next Harry Quebert affair’. which to my mind was not necessarily a resounding recommendation. I usually like a mix of literary and mystery, but not if it slows down the story excessively. Still on the fence, I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I might be the minority with this book. I enjoyed it but boy did I feel the ebbs and flows. At 600+ pages you better keep my attention. It seemed to go on and on. 75% literary 25% mystery and I can’t say I was a fan of the root of the mystery, wish Bollen took a different approach. A read you’ll have to decide for yourself. As I said I liked it, just didn’t knock me off my feet, would have been better sans 200 less pages. Not easy to pull off a book over 400 pages, MHO. Thanks for commenting and visiting Marina


    • I felt it was too long, too descriptive and the ‘mystery’ root was boring. Just my opinion, you’ll have to read for yourself and decide. As I said previously I liked it just not wowed. There were times when it sucked me in, times where I was bored to tears. Great job on authors part en toto, would read more from him in the future. Pulling off a novel with more than 450 pages isn’t easy, few accomplish the task. Just my two cents worth. Thank you for commenting Cathy!

      Liked by 1 person

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