I liked this book more than I expected to -- it is a complex and mysterious page-turner.
I have to admit I did not totally understand the ending, but that did not make it any less of a satisfying read. Feb 10, Chris Callaway rated it did not like it Shelves: Gave up after pages. The author can turn a phrase, but I was never convinced that he could tell a story.
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- The Horned Man?
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I finally realized that I just didn't care about learning anything more about the character or his predicament. Sep 11, Huck Flynn rated it it was amazing.
Lasdun writes great prose and I loved this book - my favourite genre, the unreliable narrator, in this case a paranoid lecturer whose character is revealed not so much in what he relates about his own thoughts and opinions but what is unveiled by the actions and words of others he meets and deals with. Reading the other reviews however I was surprised by how few mentioned that the story is bloody hilarious, in a nervous, twitchy kind of way. Lawrence Miller life spirals downwards in a twisty thr Lasdun writes great prose and I loved this book - my favourite genre, the unreliable narrator, in this case a paranoid lecturer whose character is revealed not so much in what he relates about his own thoughts and opinions but what is unveiled by the actions and words of others he meets and deals with.
Lawrence Miller life spirals downwards in a twisty thriller Kafka meets Hitchcock and the reader doesn't know what to believe, except that it's not Miller who is clearly at least confused, if not completely delusional. I'd also recommend Seven Lies, his next novel. Jun 30, Larraine rated it really liked it.
Observer review: The Horned Man by James Lasdun | Books | The Guardian
This is probably one of the creepiest books I've read in a long time. Lawrence Miller is an English expatriate and professor of gender studies at an American college. His wife has recently left him. When he "finds" things he didn't realize were there in his office that had recently been occupied by a now deceased professor, his life begins to unravel. He becomes more and more divorced from reality as his life spirals downward. The writing in this book is outstanding. This is truly what should be This is probably one of the creepiest books I've read in a long time.
This is truly what should be called a literary thriller. What a story and writer! Aug 12, Darlene rated it it was ok. This was a hard book to read about a most disturbed man with a twisted delusional mind. I didn't really care about any of the characters. I'm glad it wasn't a long book and was relieved when I was done. Im not saying it wasn't written well or wasn't a clever idea but it will be one of those easy to forget about books. Aug 16, Theodore rated it did not like it. Uses the same unreliable narrator trick as the Egyptologist and The Usual Suspects.
Why would I read a whole novel just to find out it didn't happen. Does the illusion of reality mean nothing anymore? May 23, Dennis Gerwing rated it liked it. Enjoyed reading this novel, but if there was anything to be "got" in the ending, I didn't "get" it. What in the hell just happened?
This was such an odd story, but the writing was gorgeous. I found myself rereading many paragraphs so that I could fully grasp what Lasdun was saying. May 08, Daniel Prince rated it liked it. A professor in Manhatten experiences weird events as he notices that his office is possibly being used by someone else. Throughout the story, Lawrence, the professor, goes searching for who is responsible. Being continually consumed with paranoia over what is happening in his office, Lawrence also is coping with other situations in his life such as with his separation from his wife.
Throughout the book, Lawrence is caught up in and believes some hard to believe theories. The way in which the sto A professor in Manhatten experiences weird events as he notices that his office is possibly being used by someone else.
The way in which the story is written persuades the reader into truly believing what is happening to Lawrence. At the end of the book, thoughts change as the story ends drastically without the culprit. This allows the reader to surprisingly realize that some of the story could not have been reality. This mystery novel remains a mystery.
THE HORNED MAN
The book always seemed to immediately grab my attention the minute I picked it up. The suspense is also a contributing factor to this good book. The only recommendation I have in improving the novel would be to include a few more exciting events. Other than that, the book was very descriptive and enjoyable. What I gained from reading this book is that the audience would be for the late teens to adult. Anyone who likes mystery books would definitely enjoy this one. This mystery would positively get the reader's attention as it has a very descriptive story with lots of detail. It was a very enjoyable book.
Apr 07, Stephanie Alice Rogers rated it really liked it. That's not a bad thing. But if you're familiar with Kafka, you probably see what's coming from a mile away. No matter - the story will likely hook you all the same. Lasdun crafts the story with such tension, it would be hard to put this book down and fail to pick it back up again - unless you're the type of reader who prefers plots to be neatly wrapped up at the end. As 'The Horned Man' is laced with references to Kafka, and indeed heavily inspired by the works of that esteemed literary legend.
As a fan of literature that makes you think about the story and the characters long after you've read the last page, I loved the ambiguity. Lasdun writes in a relatively spare style that is peppered with stunning description and analogies. Nov 25, Dawn Lennon rated it really liked it Shelves: Fantastic, surreal, confounding, disturbing, and engaging are terms that capture Lasdun's book for me.
If his writing weren't so good at creating a believable voice for the troubled protagonist, I question whether the twists and turns would have worked. Lasdun has a gift for descriptive language that captures the changing scenes and the confused, tormented mind of his main character. His extensive use of metaphor and simile are both illustrative and sometimes overdone for my taste. That said, th Fantastic, surreal, confounding, disturbing, and engaging are terms that capture Lasdun's book for me.
That said, this book is a unique look into the mind and psyche of a British academic a professor of gender studies who came to America through the INS, married, separated, and became obsessive about the loss of his wife who he still yearns for. His intellectual interweavings reveal his belief that he is somehow being watched stalked even , potentially implicated in murder, and persecuted by an evil figure. It's a book that commingles issues around marriage, sex, abuse of women, supernatural forces real and perhaps perceived , and submission.
It's a strange book that keeps you reading. I was disappointed by the ending which left too much unresolved for my taste, but it kept me entranced. I have no objection to unreliable or unsympathetic narrators, but I do start to lose patience when one has no apparent attributes beyond a boundless capacity for self-delusion, and its attendant train of poor life choices.
The odd gaps in his account may initially be put down to professorial forgetfulness, but these narrative tics increase into racking great spasms until the entire novel is shaken by a series of horrific revelations. As he builds up ever-greater barricades against the outside world, Lawrence is blind to something shocking inside himself that is struggling to get out. The stink of dereliction emanates from something far more rotten than an old man's underpants.
Lasdun repeatedly namedrops Kafka in the early stages of the novel, but this is a red herring.
The wide, Kafkaesque eyes of false accusation conceal depths of real guilt; Lawrence's narrative is closer to Humbert Humbert's duplicitous storytelling and to Paul Auster, whose New York is similarly merciless, swallowing mild souls and chewing them to pulp. Lasdun's New York, however, has an edge of lyrical beauty: Treetops made shatter-line patterns against the glassy strip of horizon.