Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Orient by Christopher Bollen

624 p.
Publisher: Harper
Published: 5/5/15
Source: From TLC Book Tours for review
Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
Author Links: websiteAdd to Goodreads badge
As summer draws to a close, a Small Long Island town is plagued by a series of mysterious deaths— and one young man, a loner taken in by a local, tries to piece together the crimes before his own time runs out. 
Orient is an isolated hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island—a quiet, historic village that swells each summer with vacationers, Manhattan escapees, and wealthy young artists from the city with designs on local real estate. On the last day of summer, a teenage drifter named Mills Chevern arrives in town. Soon after, the village is rocked by a series of unsettling events: the local caretaker is found floating lifeless in the ocean; an elderly neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances; and a monstrous animal corpse is discovered on the beach not far from a research lab often suspected of harboring biological experiments. Before long, other more horrific events plunge the community into a spiral of paranoia. 
As the village struggles to make sense of the wave of violence, anxious eyes settle on the mysterious Mills, a troubled orphan with no family, a hazy history, and unknown intentions. But he finds one friend in Beth, an Orient native in retreat from Manhattan, who is determined to unravel the mystery before the small town devours itself.
Suffused with tension, rich with character and a haunting sense of lives suspended against an uncertain future, Orient is both a galvanic thriller and a provocative portrait of the dark side of the American dream: an idyllic community where no one is safe. It marks the emergence of a novelist of enormous talent.
My thoughts:

I was in the mood for a good thriller/murder mystery when this one came up for review. Unfortunately it wasn't everything I wanted in a thriller but the mystery was pretty good.

The book mainly contains a lot of worldbuilding of a small town who are known to not like "outsiders" living in their pristine town. While I can appreciate the attention to detail, it felt as if the mystery got a bit lost for the bulk of the book and it slowed the story down so much I can't call it a thriller. However, I totally agree that the expectation of a thriller was of my own making. That may have colored my view of the book. In the last quarter of the book, the mystery really perked up and I honestly didn't know who the killer was until the very end. My guesses kept getting twisted but it made sense in the end. It does however have an open ending even though it is a standalone. Normally this would bother me but I saw an open ending coming because of the prologue. I had a feeling it wouldn't end like these books normally end. I think that knowing ahead of time helped me to not hate the ending.

I give this book 2 1/2 stars. The worldbuilding and multiple POVs seemed to really slow down the plot of the book. I do recommend this book on the mystery. The ending was good and I did enjoy the twists. I also think that others will appreciate the details given in the book. It does lend a leisurely pace to the bulk of the book which does counter the twisty end. It just wasn't what I personally wanted in a mystery.

About Christopher Bollen

Christopher Bollen is an editor at large for Interview magazine. He is the author of the novel Lightning People, and his work has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, the Believer, and Artforum, among other publications. He lives in New York.

Find out more about Christopher at his website.

Tuesday, April 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, April 8th: My Bookish Ways
Thursday, April 9th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Friday, April 10th: As I turn the pages
Monday, April 13th: BoundbyWords
Tuesday, April 14th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, April 15th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, April 16th: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
Monday, April 20th: The Discerning Reader
Tuesday, April 21st: Books and Things
Wednesday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, April 23rd: A Dream Within a Dream
Monday, April 27th: Open Book Society
Tuesday, April 28th: Kissin Blue Karen
Friday, May 1st: Wordsmithonia


  1. That's good at least the mystery side was working. World building can be so tricky. Shame it got in the way this time.

  2. A shame that not all aspects of this book worked for you. I know world building can be problematic for me and is rarely as important as the characters.

  3. I appreciate a well-portrayed small town as well, but not when it gets in the way of the plot! I'm in a mystery/thriller mood too lately, but I just pick up JD Robb and know it'll work out.

  4. Aw, I'm sorry this didn't fill your thriller/mystery hole (okay, that sounded a lot raunchier than I intended).

  5. Too bad the world building overshadowed the plot and made the pacing slow, but at least the mystery was done well.

  6. The idea sounds great, but I agree, I don't like getting boogged down with too much detail in my thrillers.

  7. It's too bad this didn't work better for you. The slowness wouldn't work for me. The setting appeals to me but that's about it.

  8. It sounds interesting. Maybe going in expecting it to be slower and more mystery than thriller will help.

  9. I have a problem with multiple POVs.... It's too bad that it wasn't what you expected in the end.... I hope your next book is better.

  10. I love that this kept you guessing. From the synopsis i expected a thriller too...but this does sound good.

  11. Sounds like they got caught up with everything around the story and didn't hit the thriller, and lost the mystery in explaining. Thank you for sharing. :)

  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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