Friday, April 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Orient by Christopher Bollen

Author: Christopher Bollen
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date of publication: May 5, 2015

Orient is an isolated hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island—a quiet, historic village that swells each summer with vacationers, Manhattan escapees, and wealthy young artists from the city with designs on local real estate. On the last day of summer, a teenage drifter named Mills Chevern arrives in town. Soon after, the village is rocked by a series of unsettling events: the local caretaker is found floating lifeless in the ocean; an elderly neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances; and a monstrous animal corpse is discovered on the beach not far from a research lab often suspected of harboring biological experiments. Before long, other more horrific events plunge the community into a spiral of paranoia.

As the village struggles to make sense of the wave of violence, anxious eyes settle on the mysterious Mills, a troubled orphan with no family, a hazy history, and unknown intentions. But he finds one friend in Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, who is determined to unravel the mystery before the small town devours itself.

Suffused with tension, rich with character and a haunting sense of lives suspended against an uncertain future, Orient is both a galvanic thriller and a provocative portrait of the dark side of the American dream: an idyllic community where no one is safe. It marks the emergence of a novelist of enormous talent.

Orient is definitely not a book that you will be able to read in an afternoon.  Coming is at over 650 pages, it does seem like an intimidating book.  From the synopsis, I was hoping for an intriguing, not able to put down read.  I really wanted to love this book.  Unfortunately, I struggled to finish it.  I did finish it though and it ended up just being OK for me.  Basically, people in the town of Orient are dying in what seem to be accidents until an entire family is wiped out in a deliberately set house fire.  Newcomer Mills and town native Beth are convinced that someone is committing murder.

I wasn't quite sure what this book was trying to be.  Was it a mystery or was it a neighborhood saga? 
There were long winded passages in the story that probably could have been left out.  Leaving them in kind of made me forget I was reading a mystery,  I just felt like I was reading about unlikable neighbors who were fighting over land and ended up skimming in places.  For me, the book didn't pick up until the last 25% and ended in a very unsatisfying way.  There were a couple of twists, but no clear justice in the end.  I don't like open ended endings.  I said that I struggled with this, because it was kind of boring and there was no thriller feeling.  I know that this book has gotten stellar reviews, so you'll have to judge for yourself.

About Christopher Bollen

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

Find out more about Christopher at his website.

Purchase Links

Christopher’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, April 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, April 10th: As I turn the pages
Tuesday, April 14th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, April 15th: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, April 20th: The Discerning Reader
Tuesday, April 21st: Books and Things
Wednesday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, April 23rd: A Dream Within a Dream
Monday, April 27th: Open Book Society
Tuesday, April 28th: Kissin Blue Karen
Friday, May 1st: Wordsmithonia
Monday, May 4th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Wednesday, May 6th: My Bookish Ways

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour.