Thy Neighbor [NOOK Book]

Overview

Norah Vincent’s first two books—the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness—were masterworks of immersion journalism. Now Vincent unleashes her considerable talents in a spellbinding novel that’s as provocative and absorbing as her acclaimed nonfiction.
            Since his parents’ violent deaths thirteen years ago, Nick Walsh has been living alone in his childhood home, drinking, drugging, and ...
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Thy Neighbor

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Overview

Norah Vincent’s first two books—the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness—were masterworks of immersion journalism. Now Vincent unleashes her considerable talents in a spellbinding novel that’s as provocative and absorbing as her acclaimed nonfiction.
            Since his parents’ violent deaths thirteen years ago, Nick Walsh has been living alone in his childhood home, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. Deranged by his relentless sorrow, he begins spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones. As he observes all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that people do when they think no one is watching, Nick begins to unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
At 34, Nick Walsh still lives in his Midwest suburban childhood home—though his parents died violently 13 years earlier and he's been self-medicating since. As he spies on his neighbors, using cameras and microphones he has surreptitiously installed, he begins to understand what happened to his parents. Then he learns that someone is stalking him. This first novel by the author of nonfiction best sellers like Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man sounds at once spooky and thought-provoking and should attract some attention.
Kirkus Reviews
For any reader still suffering from the delusion that suburbia is Eden, this debut novel explores the sinister side, where "a dark shadow lay just on the other side of the picket fence." Though Vincent has attracted attention with her nonfiction (Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man, 2006, etc.), this book will challenge the reader to get a handle on just what sort of novel it is, and it reads as if its author wrestled with a similar challenge. At its most clichéd, it's a social indictment of modern suburbia--its broken families, its secrets behind those manicured lawns, its desperate promiscuity, its obsession with Facebook. But it's also a whodunit, or at least a whydunit, as narrator Nick Walsh, an alcoholic, unemployed writer in his mid-30s, attempts to solve the mystery of his parents' murder-suicide. Why did Nick's father kill his mother and then himself? Was the unhinged Nick more responsible than he lets on, or even understands? Is he criminal or casualty or both? Nick identifies a little too much with Hamlet, while recognizing that "Any spoiled kid who has a vaguely philosophical bent, serious daddy issues, and a bleak outlook on life has thought of himself as Hamlet and thought himself mighty profound and soulful for doing so." The novel (or Nick) tends to deal in generalizations and stereotypes ("You know the breed."), while reducing practically every supporting character to a plot device. "How many horrible things are going on right now in any one of these houses?" he asks, though he is in a better position than most to know, since he has had cameras and microphones installed in the houses of his neighbors, which he monitors from his basement (again, more plot device than plausible). Ultimately, another mystery emerges, though the savvy reader is likely to untangle a crucial question of identity well before clueless Nick does. The results fall through the categorical cracks, with the book succeeding neither as page-turning mystery nor as sharp social criticism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101583784
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/2/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 161,206
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Norah Vincent is a former op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times whose books include Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review: "Thy Neighbor" by Norah Vincent was some r



    Review:


    "Thy Neighbor" by Norah Vincent was some read from the start to the finish. There is a lot to absorb in this read from Nick Walsh. I found him truly a sad person...why? Well apart from the fact that he was jobless, his parents had died in a apparent murder-suicide at home....with him now spying on his neighbors with via spy cameras that he installed in their homes...only to discover that he is also being watched. Then there is his drinking..at home or in the local bar...why is that? Nick has a friend Dave only if you can call it that and then there is a woman who enters his life...Monica...but was she a real girlfriend..what did he know about her?



    "Thy Neighbor" moves at a very slow pace until you are able to uncover just how these tragedies are put together with these weird characters and there will be a whole lot of strangeness going on but in the end I thought it was different and definitely a original. I found it a hard novel to enjoy in that how this character was so unlikeable.. due to his cynical, disillusioned and so deeply flawed. However, why was he like this....this is where I say you must pick up this read and find out what this novel is all about. Be prepared to be disturbed from the read that could make one uncomfortable...and some of the scenes were somewhat disgusting. This is not a quick read so be prepared. I am not saying this in a negative way...for it took me a while to get into this storyline of its development of this particular human behaviour.


    Now if you are interested in a different type of read you have come to the right page. I must say due to the subject matter I would only recommend this to the adult audience due to its foul language and scatological content.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Ugh

    Sorry. Could not get thru it. I like weird books but this one is kind of beyond that. Maybe just maybe would have been bearable if there was some sarcastic or self depreciating humor thrown in here or there. Don't give up mr author. Your writing is good and it was a good idea for a story. Just too depressing. Now I am going to go take a shower. I still feel a little dirty.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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