My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book has been at my side since last night until I finished it this afternoon sat in the car outside of the Supermarket!
Talk about addicted.
I wondered about the title. But I have discovered its very apt for the story. Really good, Oliver is like and onion, several layers of him, and the more you take one off, the more there is beneath. Never ends. Getting to the core takes time.
I think that is where the word " protagonist" comes into play.
The dramatic start to this book was awesome, we see how Oliver beats his wife so badly. So bad, he puts her into a coma.
Oliver is a children's author. I have no idea why my concept would be WHAT? Because I always imagine an author writing books for children would be meek, mild and kind [dunno where I got the idea from! funny what goes through your mind]
Oliver definitely wasn't portraying himself as one so nice, was he!
We learn from Oliver himself how his life was growing up in Ireland with his family. It wasn't good, its help mold him into the kind of person he is today.
I thought him shallow. I thought him vicious.
I didn't like him, not one bit.
But as the layers come off of Oliver, I just wasn't sure if he just couldn't help it, or he was blind to his own faults.
There were some sentences in there that did make me laugh out loud. Some of the thoughts that rambled through his head.
For instance, the talk of a woman's menstrual cycle was sickening to him.....the way he passed it off.
Then the old fashioned doiley type covers over an old persons table. I could just picture it.
I personally found Oliver a cold unemotional type of person, a step back from things.
I'm still wondering if its him, or his upbringing.
As we go along we see different people who have touched his life, they account how Oliver was with them.
Each had an opinion of Oliver, some good, some not so good, some bad.
ALL making up Oliver. Oliver and his many layers.
All this leads back to the beginning of the book where it started.
The vicious attack on Alice, his wife.
BRILLIANT book. Highly recommended.
Its writing for me was unique, I felt like I knew these people who were telling me about Oliver, I also felt like Oliver was leading me around his past life.
My hat goes off to Liz Nugent, excellent read!
Let me thank Penguin Books (UK) via Net Galley for this book, also Liz Nugent's PA who sent me the paperback via emailing me. Now I have both to treasure
Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children's books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.
In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.
Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.
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