Tuesday, May 27, 2014

401 (2014 #29). The Other Story

by Tatiana de Rosnay

I requested this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program because its blurb sounded interesting, and because I had previously read Tatiana de Rosnay's blockbuster Sarah's Key.  I thought that book was okay but over-hyped.  Unfortunately, I think The Other Story is pretty awful.

Nicolas Kolt, aka Nicolas Duhamel, is a hit debut author who has gone to an exclusive resort on a Tuscan island with his current girlfriend for a three-day retreat to - supposedly - work on his next book.  Kolt turned his quest to uncover a family secret about his parentage into his bestselling novel, and his life has not been the same.  He's become an insufferable jerk, obsessed with Twitter and his Facebook page, shunned by the woman he really loves as well as his old best friend and many others who say he's changed, and not for the better.

The story about his parentage and early years is told in flashbacks, and that portion - like Sarah's Vel' d'Hiv Roundup story in Sarah's Key - is somewhat interesting, although without the compelling aspects of truth and good historical research.  Once again, though, as she did with the Julia character in Sarah's Key, de Rosnay spends too much time on the current-day plot of Nicolas and his "troubles" - which include (completely unnecessary) pornographic  "sexting" with a married female fan.

The book wraps up with an unconvincing "redemption" (and an idea for a new book) for Nicolas involving an incident similar to the Costa Concordia disaster.  Too little, too late, for Nicolas, and for this reader, who by that time really didn't care what happened to the irritating protagonist.

There were also numerous errors (in grammar and punctuation) in this advance reader's edition, although (hopefully) that was not an issue in the published edition.  I didn't like this book enough to check, though, and I can't recommend it to others.

© Amanda Pape - 2014

[An advance reader edition of this book was sent to me from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review. The book will be passed on to someone else to enjoy.]

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