On the first look it is the cover and the description that allured me. The cover looked captivating and the description promised lot of thrill with something scary hiding in between. The concept is definite winner at least for me but what about the execution.
Instead of interpreting it as a horror-struck novella, it should be confessed as a collection of short stories. Yes! it has two more stories which are way more compelling than the main one.
Story As It Goes
“Conversationalist” is about a professor named Patrick who prefer few sinful ways of treating the women he dates. On one such date he meets Wendy, a date settled up by his co worker and an acquaintance. The story starts with Wendy confessing to Patrick that she’s afraid to die, she says “My mother died a year ago . . . horribly.”. As usual Patrick listens and pretends to care. He breaks off the date without even informing Wendy. He then recieves death treats and unwanted gifts and threat calls from some UNKNOWN.
On Patrick’s Pacific Northwest Island home, people whisper about his family’s sad history. Some feel sorry for him. Most want to help Patrick, as if he’s a song-less bird, make him their next project but no one knows his very own dark secret which he tries to keep safe this way. What happens after the date, who is threatening Patrick is all about the story.
Author’s Writing Style
The story has a good plot and a good narration but what it lacks is good planning. There are many loose ends in the story and that is one thing which as a reader will annoy you the most. The beauty of a thriller lies in first creating a curiosity in the minds of a reader, and then manipulating and dragging it till the end and finally finishing it with an outstanding twist or conclusion. Conversationalist, in this case, fails miserably at that. There are a lot of unwanted explanations in the story which might have been reduced.
Justin Bog’s narration is fascinating and attractive. The descriptive writing does a very good job of bringing alive the people and the places but that in no way is a compensation for the lack of a rational and fitting closure.
The fact that almost half of the story happens in a Patrick’s mind where his personal sinful secret gets elaborated also adds an element of mystery to the whole package. But what is the point of all this when the reader is not rewarded with answers in the end? Well, I for sure wasn’t happy.
Having said all this, I still think Conversationalist can be recommended as a different kind of read. It is just few page novella and that is a very good reason why a reader might want to give it a try.
I end this review by rating the book six out of ten and proposing it as a “try something new” book.
Source : Arc From Reading Deals