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These Violent Delights: A Novel av Micah…
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These Violent Delights: A Novel (urspr publ 2020; utgåvan 2020)

av Micah Nemerever (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
493403,854 (3.5)6

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Visar 3 av 3
Just as Paul and Julian feel about each other in These Violent Delights, I both loved this book and I hated it too. Three stars from me, which splits the difference between five for the love and zero for the hate.

This book did have the impact on me that I suspect the author was aiming for. I read the first three parts of the book and almost stopped because I couldn't relate to where this story was going / had gone, and I was really revolted by the self pity and the rage. But I plowed on and finished it, and I'm glad I did because the fourth part of the book eased back on the intensity and brought at least some humanity back to the characters.

It's a roller coaster ride, and if that intrigues you and it sounds like a ride you'd like to go on, then by all means pick up this book. Just don't say I didn't warn you...

I read the audiobook, and Michael Crouch did a fantastic job with narration.

Some of my other thoughts on the book:

Fantastic writing - evocative of the characters young age and strong intellects, great atmosphere, flowed really well. Many stories / levels within the overall story that add to the depth of feelings this book will get from you. Astounding that this is a debut novel.

Complex characters - first you feel empathy, then disappointment, then revulsion, then disrespect. And at the same time you understand who these people are, even though you do not understand many of the things they do.

Familiar plot (ala Leopold & Loeb) - Set in the 1970s at an unnamed college in Pittsburgh, the book is in four Parts - boy meets boy, needy boy falls for needy boy in a love with increasingly violent undertones, boy couple plots a heinous crime to cement their love, boys get away with it (okay, that part is not familiar). Four parts, four emotions from me - empathy, disappointment, revulsion, disrespect.

Unreliable narrator - Though told in the third person, the narrator closely hews to Paul's story. Julian never really comes into equal focus, and while that seems intentional on the author's part, to me it is the book's biggest weakness. It's clear that the two boys love and understand each other with life altering intensity, but its much clearer why Paul was drawn to Julian than vice versa. And when you think you've figured out what Julian sees in Paul, something happens that lets you know that you're wrong. And that's when you realize that you aren't getting the "true" story of what happened, but only Paul's version of it.

Missteps - There were a few others, but these two stuck out to me - 1) Paul is seventeen when the book starts. When the book ends, Paul is seventeen. A full academic year at college and part of a second occur during the course of the book. So how is Paul still seventeen? 2) Paul visits Julian's parent's palatial home and wishes it were one of the lesser mansions he sees on the drive there, because they seem more "nouveau riche", and so perhaps more something he could better understand than the "old money" estate he arrives at. I found this maybe a bit too worldly wise for a 1970s working class city kid, even one as precocious as Paul. 3) Almost everything that happens at Julian's parent's house seems cliched and one dimensional (except for the boy's destruction fantasy). Again, this seems to have been the author's intent, but it reads as the weakest part of the book. ( )
  stevrbee | Feb 7, 2021 |
This is an explosively erotic and erudite thriller that the reader either really likes or really doesn’t. I don’t believe that I have read a single review that the reader is on the fence about this one. From the very first page it is filled with a tremendous sense of dread and urgency that remains until the final page. Paul is drawn to Julian like a moth to a flame and soon they develop much more than a friendship. Both are freshmen in 1970 at the University at Pittsburg. Paul is painfully shy and awkward where Julian presents the physical presence of excitement for Paul who constantly feels he must proof himself worthy…two boys so different… but yet so very chillingly alike. The two boys are extremely unlikable in spite of the author attempt early in the story to make the reader feel some sympathy for them. Don’t waste time trying because you just can’t. Paul soon recognizes that he’s “in love” with Julian and wants to have/do something that will seal Julian to him and Julian encourages the “game” rather than stopping it. Perhaps the sentence that best sums the feelings up is …Julian: “I can’t believe that you are the first person not to notice how twisted I am.” Paul: “You’re the first person to not want me to be”. That having been said… neither boy is prepared, nor do they really care that their “act of devotion” will yield such devastation. I read a lot of this genre of novels… but this author has almost outdone himself with the nearly unbearable tension and dread the reader feels throughout the entire story. I found myself searching desperately for an end to the events that these boys had caused to take place. I still give the book credit for accomplishing what I believe was it’s goal. 2.5 stars because, while it isn’t such a “page turner”…it certainly does have the ability to make the reader feel so many deep, dark emotions to the extent that you feel like you need a long hot bath for a month or two. ( )
  Carol420 | Dec 5, 2020 |
'Brideshead Revisited' with a twist of 'The Secret History'. 'These Violent Delights' is an intense read, but a bit of a slow-burner. A good use of my time. I especially liked that our protagonist was made into more than the passive bystander that these books usually employ.

Julian and Paul are drawn to each other as Freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. Paul's working class family is still gutted by the tragic suicide of his cop father and often don't know what to do with the withdrawn and moody Paul. Julian comes from a background of privilege and rarely lifts the veil from his true thoughts and feelings. The two form a friendship in an ethics class that quickly becomes sexual and together they start on down a dark path.

Some of the marketing around this novel says it's based on a true story, but I'm not enough of a true crime buff to know the case the author was referring too and my weak Googling didn't turn up an answer. This absorbed me completely while I was reading it. 'These Violent Delights' is a compelling psychological thriller. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Aug 18, 2020 |
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