NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

3.0 out of 5 stars We all might have demons that drive us...
First, let me say that I have read all of Chris Bohjalian's previous novels and some I have liked more than others. I should have known when someone compared this to The Double Bind (Vintage Contemporaries) that it would be one of those that I liked less.

This was a good story IF you like paranormal (ghosts) and books that tend toward the horror side of the spectrum. I don't tend to like that type of fiction, but I did want to give this novel a chance.

What I liked: the details about the pilot, Chip Linton, suffering PTSD in the aftermath of his plane crash and its relevance to current events and present day airline activity. Reading about Chip's attempts to come to terms with the tragedy was interesting to me. I also liked the details about the plants and tinctures which I assume that the author researched thoroughly.

What I did not like: the fact that the mother seemed clueless and naive, and I could never generate any empathy for her. The twins seemed like stereotypes and the "bad guys" were so obvious that I couldn't believe they weren't all run out of town! The foreboding and ominous feeling that I hope to get from the narrative when reading a thriller was lacking, and events were predictable. I also didn't care for the second person voice of Chip throughout the book.

Ultimately, I liked The Night Strangers: A Novel well enough, but it won't be one I'll urge others to read as I have with his past books. It might just be me -- I'm not a paranormal, supernatural, ghost and haunted house person. I don't care to read about covens and witchcraft, spells or potions used for harm. When I read the book was a "ghost story", I was just expecting something a little different.

If you want to check out other Bohjalian books, I urge you to consider the titles I liked better: Midwives (Oprah's Book Club), Skeletons at the Feast: A Novel, Trans-Sister Radio or even Secrets of Eden: A Novel.

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