Two-for-One Review: “In the Woods” and “The Likeness”

September 4, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Fiction, Two-for-One Review | 3 Comments

Tana French!  Can you hear me?  Please write more books!

I’ve been telling people that In the Woods is one of the best books I’ve read all year.  (And hey, I’m up to 265).  When I saw the sequel, The Likeness, I sat up in my chair.  Then I read the reviews saying it might even be better than the first one, and since then I’ve been pacing the floor waiting for my turn to read it.  The rumors… are true!  Tana French is a major, major talent.

Sequel-chasing is challenging for me, even when I love the author.  I just get sidetracked reading other things.  (I’m currently “in the middle of” everything from Lemony Snicket to Louise Rennison to Robert Jordan to Diana Gabaldon.  I haven’t even read the whole Golden Compass series yet).  Oh, but Tana French is a different story.  How much did I love The Likeness?  The other night I actually pushed my bike home three miles while propping the book on the handlebars, read 54 pages, walked right past my street, and had to go around the park and come back.

In the Woods is not an unusually good thriller.  It’s an unusually good book that happens to be a thriller.  Beautiful writing, deeply nuanced characters, and a haunting atmosphere suffuse this riveting tale.  The ending will break your heart.

Likewise, The Likeness is an unusually good book.  It’s told from the point of view of another character from In the Woods.  While the narrator alludes to events from that story, it’s possible to read The Likeness independently.  (Though why would you deprive yourself?)  Words just fail to describe how great this book is.

Genre-defying.  Unpredictable.  Unconventional.  Unforgettable.



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  1. I loved In the Woods. And The Likeness is sitting there waiting for me to read it. I hope I finally get to it this week.

  2. Wow, OK, yes please! I wanted to read In the Woods after reading Lenore’s review and The Likeness after reading Trish’s, but now I’m more convinced than ever. Thanks!

  3. […] Both Eyes […]

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