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Mouth to Mouth: ‘Gripping... Shades of Patricia Highsmith and Donna Tartt’ Vogue

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This is one of those books that starts off with an intriguing premise that draws you in right away, after which the whole thing becomes a trudge. A successful art dealer confesses the story of his meteoric rise in this “powerful, intoxicating, and shocking” ( The New York Times) novel that’s a “slow burn à la Patricia Highsmith” ( Oprah Daily). There is space for doubt to creep into their minds as to whether his motivations are genuine and virtuous. The dialogue in these scenes is also impressively realistic, as though Wilson had transcribed real-life conversations.

This leads him into both the man’s art-dealing business and then his personal life, making him think about the consequences of having saved a life when that life may not be a very commendable one. akin to the talky, but fascinating, movie My Dinner With Andre — if that conversation took place in an airport lounge instead of a fancy restaurant. They weren’t so different from their counterparts downstairs, other than not looking like they were undergoing an ordeal. For several hours, Jeff related the story, mentioning several times he’d never spoken of the incident to anyone until now. I wanted him to be good, though, I wanted to feel that I had done a good thing not only for him but for all the people he came in contact with.Arsenault becomes the poster child for what not to do with a second chance, quickly becoming the novel’s antagonist. One day before dawn, fresh from a breakup with his college girlfriend, he drove to the beach, where he happened to see a man floating facedown and motionless in the early morning surf. While they await their delayed flight, Jeff recounts the story of how he saved a drowning man’s life at the beach years earlier and how doing so redirected the course of his own life.

I’m going to admit I was a little skeered too because he recommended Razorblade Tears which I only 2 Starred because I was afraid I would be drawn and quartered by its fans if I gave it 1. He goes into great detail about the man he saves being a famous art dealer who eventually takes Jeff under his wing. Mouth to Mouth is] powered by a kind of ominous propulsive forward momentum right up until the very end, which is unexpected and inevitable, as all the best endings are. When he sees there’s a vacancy for an assistant at the man’s art gallery, he applies and gets the job. The charismatic Jeff invites the author to drinks in the First Class lounge, and there, swearing him to secrecy, begins telling him the fascinating and disturbing story of his gilded life, starting with a pivotal incident from his youth.

Cook meets a woman at an art reception and she becomes his lover before she reveals that she is the boss’s daughter. This is an excellent story that is best read in one long or two medium sessions to fully immerse in the truly brilliant narrative.

These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc. It sat on my shelf until it was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which prompted me to a) remember I even had a copy of it and b) make a mental note to get to it faster, because surely it must be worth reading if it had been longlisted. Although Francis does not seem to recognize him as the man who saved his life, he nevertheless casts his legendary eye on Jeff and sees something worthy. Cook’s Tom Ripley-like story — and the wary narrator’s retelling of it — is loaded with fateful encounters, hidden agendas, shrouded identities, adulterous betrayals and brushes with death . The novel suggests more than it can flesh out in its 200 pages, and though Wilson spares us red herrings, false starts, and dead ends for the most part, you can see that there are some diversions he could have taken to give us a more complete picture of the world he has constructed .Cook questions the life guard who came to the scene and learns the drowned man’s name–Frances Arsenault. But Jeff can't let go of the events of that traumatic day, and he begins to feel compelled to learn more about the man whose life he has saved, convinced that their destinies are now somehow entwined. Upstairs, the hallway was anonymous and bland, but the apartment had a distinctive grotto-like atmosphere, the windows covered over with bedsheets and the walls festooned with posters, all of them for the same band, a band I had never heard of: Marillion.

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