Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they’ve created.
I can understand the negatives reviews for this book because it was underwhelming.
People are complaining about the writing style but it didn’t bother me that much. I guess this just felt like a slightly bulked out storyboard for a TV show, which would make sense as the author wrote Mad Men.
Some people think there is no character development in this novella, but I can’t say I agree. Mark and Karen are well described throughout the book and though you don’t get much history into each character, you learn enough about them as they grow older together and have a child. Same goes for Bobby. Heather, on the other hand, is more difficult to get to know. We didn’t really get the chance to learn much about her.
I honestly feel like this book was a little above my level of understanding and maybe I didn’t get the bigger picture, but to me this just felt like a slow story of overbearing, selfish parents, their confused golden child, and the obsession of a disturbed man. I know I’m probably getting this all wrong but hey, what can you do.
I enjoyed Bobby’s monologue, even though it was filled with sick and depraved rape imaginings. I guess because he was the only character that had any character, it made his part of the story worth reading. Other than that, it was pretty boring.
I agree with reviewers who said this felt cut off all of a sudden, because it does just seem to end out of nowhere, and in a pretty dull manner.
This novel reminded me of Hubert Selby Jr’s work. Depressing, bleak, dark and slow. (But with worse characters and a less captivating plot).
Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.