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The Party by Elizabeth Day


 

Praise

Witty, dark and compelling”
-Sebastian Faulks

“Superb–clever, gripping, psychologically acute.”
-Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us

“Day’s latest novel is sinister and seductive and nothing short of breathtaking.”
-Francesca Segal, author of The Innocents

“Think Brideshead Revisited meets The Talented Mr. Ripley with a dash of The Riot Club. I couldn’t put it down.”
-Louise O’Neill, author of Asking For It

“I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. THE PARTY is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for.”-Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag

Martin is a spellbinding storyteller who doles out details like they’re a controlled substance… his narration is littered with keen yet cutting observations about people, their relationships, and society at large….Vividly sketched characters and evocative prose further distinguish the story, which ends on a note that both shocks and gratifies. Day’s latest is a dark, haunting, and elegantly crafted tale of obsession, desperation, devastation, and rebirth.”-Kirkus (starred review)

“This is a dark and compelling book of lifelong obsessions, jealousies and neuroses; of acute psychological complaint, of dissatisfactions, of isolation, loneliness and solipsistic rage.”-The Observer

“[Martin] makes for a deliciously untrustworthy narrator; seemingly candid, but at the same time never telling the full story, perhaps because he’s so good at keeping secrets…. Brimming with betrayal, corruption and hypocrisy, The Party is a gripping page-turner.”-The Guardian

“In this psychological page-turner, a deeply buried secret that ties two married couples together comes to a head during one lavish 40th birthday party.”-Entertainment Weekly

Review

Martin Gilmour, a character in this tale is a writer, a critic of sorts, had some small success and reputation with a work ‘Art: Who Gives a F***?’
Almost to the unknowing eye he seemed normal but within he has an obsession he has spent his youth trying to reinvent himself and he finds one soul who’s popular but one that he can never be.
The tale, psychologically eery and unsettling at times, takes you through in first person narrative in his minds eye. If there was one scene that would turn you off and create a distance from you and this character, that may define his behaviour for the future, it would be with a small bird at school.
The unraveling to the party years before down to the day before proved to be compelling page turning reading.
There is unreliable narrating in these first person narratives from Martin and Lucy, the one he marries. Two hearts that have some unspeakables merge to something far more treacherous, the Party.
Obsessions, being someone he can’t be, at the heart of the behaviour, the art of war is taken upon within the character in this tale.
Talented Mr Ripley crossed paths with Jay Gatsby and Norman bates.
The story comes to light, the real truth unraveling with similar techniques like that in HBO’s True Detective and Showtime’s The affair on tv.
The author has done a great job in hooking the read in a lucid narrative psychologically unraveling the labyrinth that lead to The Party incident.

 



Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 14 August 2017