Monday, November 23, 2015

In the Fog by John Meany

Doubleplus ungood

Frank and his wife Dora are out fly fishing when Frank claims to witness a murder through the fog. Dora doesn't see anything, and she blames his unfounded claims on his Alzheimer's. Throughout the novel, Frank tries to prove that what he saw was real, and Dora tries to come to terms with his dementia. 

While reading this novel, I noticed that the author likes to drop in backstory in the middle of conversations. They might be talking about dinner that evening, and then there's a paragraph about how their marriage has been happy up until recently, and Dora's a wonderful cook, although Frank doesn't appreciate it anymore which is causing friction in their marriage. I personally didn't enjoy this approach because it pulled me out of the story. 

I also didn't enjoy how the author felt he had to repeat every scene at least three times. There was what Frank saw, then what Frank told Dora he saw, then what Frank told the detectives he saw, then what Dora told the children he told the detectives. There was so much repetition, I felt like only about a fifth of the novel was new information. 

As far as characters go, they were incredibly flat with no real development. Frank had Alzheimer's, Dora was his wife, his son was a psychiatrist, and so on. It seemed like the author did an extensive amount of research into Alzheimer's and wanted to put every bit of research into his novel. There was a lot of talk about the disease and what it does to the mind, and these facts were repeated throughout the novel.

[Spoilers ahead] I felt cheated at the end, when the author finally revealed the truth. The truth is that Frank had filmed the murder almost a month ago and forgot and only just remembered because of the fog. Also, the murder was more of a "hit and run gone wrong" because instead of taking the guy to a hospital, they chose to just shoot him and throw him in the lake instead. The murderers just happened to work at the local police station, and they were arrested, tried, and convicted within the space of two chapters. 

Overall, I felt like I wasted my time reading this novel, and I wouldn't recommend it.

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