Thy Neighbor

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Thy Neighbor

Format:  Hardcover,

306 pages

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Publish Date: Aug 2012

ISBN-13: 9780670023745

ISBN-10: 0670023744

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From the "New York Times" bestselling author, a first novel as spellbinding as her acclaimed nonfiction

At thirty-four, Nick Walsh is a broken, deeply cynical man. Since the violent deaths of his parents thirteen years earlier, he has been living alone in his childhood home in the suburban Midwest, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. A measure of solace is provided by his newly found relationship with Monica, a mysterious woman who seems to harbor as many secrets as he does.

Obsessed with understanding the circumstances surrounding his parents' deaths and deranged by his relentless sorrow, Nick begins a campaign of spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones he has covertly installed in their houses. As he observes with amusement and disbelief all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that his neighbors do to themselves and to one another, and as he, in turn, learns that he is being stalked, he begins to slowly unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.

At once unsettling and moving, humorous and horrifying, "Thy Neighbor" explores the nature of grief, the potential isolation of suburban life, and who we really are when we think no one is watching. What readers and critics have admired in Norah Vincent's nonfiction is completely unleashed in this vivid and provocative novel.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Publish Date: Aug 2012
ISBN-13: 9780670023745
ISBN-10: 0670023744
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 306
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.15
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.1

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-07-01)

This first novel by the author of nonfiction works Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness is an absorbing psychological mystery about Nick Walsh, a thirty something resident of a Midwestern suburb who lost both his parents in a mysterious murder-suicide more than a decade ago. He is still wallowing in self-pity and inertia, drinking himself daily into oblivion, hanging out at a singles bar with his rich and seedy friend Dave, and carrying on an affair with a woman named Monica, about whom he knows nothing.

Out of boredom, Nick begins to spy on his neighbors, planting electronic devices in their houses and viewing them on a computer in his basement, witnessing, among other things, disintegrating marriages and nightmarish parental discipline. Mysterious notes begin appearing in his house, followed up by an anonymous contact on Facebook from someone who wants to talk about his past. Nick begins to piece together clues provided by his nameless correspondent and discovers that his aloof lawyer father and his mother, a bored housewife with a Ph.D. in English literature, were hiding more than just their disdain for suburban Midwestern life.

Verdict: The author has constructed an involving if occasionally overwrought story. The depiction of depraved excesses, along with some of the neighbors' more bizarre behavior, provides a vivid and warped background as the novel delves into the characters' motivations and emotions with empathy and acuity.

[See Prepub Alert, 2/5/12.] - Jim Coan, SUNY Coll. at Oneonta

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

From the New York Times bestselling author, a first novel as spellbinding as her acclaimed nonfiction

At thirty-four, Nick Walsh is a broken, deeply cynical man. Since the violent deaths of his parents thirteen years earlier, he has been living alone in his childhood home in the suburban Midwest, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. A measure of solace is provided by his newly found relationship with Monica, a mysterious woman who seems to harbor as many secrets as he does.

Obsessed with understanding the circumstances surrounding his parents’ deaths and deranged by his relentless sorrow, Nick begins a campaign of spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones he has covertly installed in their houses. As he observes with amusement and disbelief all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that his neighbors do to themselves and to one another, and as he, in turn, learns that he is being stalked, he begins to slowly unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.

At once unsettling and moving, humorous and horrifying, Thy Neighbor explores the nature of grief, the potential isolation of suburban life, and who we really are when we think no one is watching. What readers and critics have admired in Norah Vincent’s nonfiction is completely unleashed in this vivid and provocative novel.

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