Read Tony and Susan by Austin Wright Online

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Receiving a manuscript and request for feedback from her vengeful ex-husband of fifteen years, Susan Morrow is drawn into the life of the story's fictional character and confronts a devastating parallel darkness from her own past. Austin Wright's novel is a disturbing and dazzling work: it describes a special reading experience, combines the suggestiveness of a thriller anReceiving a manuscript and request for feedback from her vengeful ex-husband of fifteen years, Susan Morrow is drawn into the life of the story's fictional character and confronts a devastating parallel darkness from her own past. Austin Wright's novel is a disturbing and dazzling work: it describes a special reading experience, combines the suggestiveness of a thriller and the depth of a psychological novel. He talks about fear and regret, revenge and maturation, marriage and failure....

Title : Tony and Susan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446582902
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 326 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tony and Susan Reviews

  • Caroline
    2018-11-04 08:59

    ***NO SPOILERS***This is not a thriller. Bookstores and libraries can shelve it as a thriller, and Saul Bellow can endorse it by calling it “a story of blood and revenge,” but it’s not thrilling. It’s not a mystery or literary fiction either. It belongs to no category. It’s a discombobulated, terrible something-or-other. Austin Wright structured Tony and Susan as a story within a story. It concerns the Susan of the title and focuses on her domestic life, with soporific flashbacks to her flawed first marriage and musings on the problems in her current marriage. She’s reading a manuscript, Nocturnal Animals, a story penned by her ex-husband. It’s through Susan that the reader learns about Nocturnal Animals’s main character, Tony, and the most nightmarish time of his life. Nocturnal Animals is more engaging than Susan’s section but not by much. This isn’t to say Nocturnal Animals is good, just that it’s slightly less terrible. What’s unclear is why Wright felt it necessary to construct his narrative this way. There’s no connection between what occurs in Susan’s world and in the world of Nocturnal Animals--or at least, it’s too vague, in which case it’s as good as no connection at all. It’s as if Wright felt a straight-up thriller wouldn’t be impressive enough and therefore decided upon the story-within-a-story structure. That’s really too bad because if he’d ditched Susan’s section altogether and spent time fully realizing Nocturnal Animals, this could be something worth reading. There’s a definite introspective tone to this book, and it seems obvious Wright was aiming for a literary fiction thriller. The writing style is just too strange, though. Sentence fragments are abundant, and that can be fine--some writers know how to use them well--but Wright wasn’t one of them. His fragments read like full sentences that got chopped at the middle point, and sometimes comprehensible only on the third reading but even then not always. There are some sparks of greatness that offer a glimpse into what Tony and Susan could have been--short-lived sparks but sparks nonetheless. Wright’s depiction of a man grieving is beautiful, not especially moving (it’s hard to feel emotionally invested in any of these flat characters), but the all-consuming loneliness and sense of profound loss is always palpable. Also, most notably, the opening of Nocturnal Animals is the strongest part of the entire book. This is when the pivotal action occurs, and it’s the most startling and suspenseful scene Wright dreamt up. Otherwise, to state it plainly, Tony and Susan is boring. The crime that defines Nocturnal Animals is matter-of-fact; there’s no twist in this story; no punch; nothing to gasp over from page one to page 326; and, maybe worst of all, no reason to read to the end because the conclusion is not only a letdown but a big, fat “huh?” This may be one of the best examples of the thriller that wasn’t.Final verdict: An underwhelming, complete waste of time. The only shocking thing about this book is why it was re-issued after initial failure.

  • karen
    2018-11-06 05:39

    this is the new big hoopla book - previously published in the early nineties, then out of print, then recently republished in england to much acclaim, now revived and reintroduced to america. an exhausting journey for one little book.fortunately, it is interesting enough to withstand such rough treatment.there is a lot i liked about this book, even though had it been written these days, it would have needed a little updating. a well-placed cellphone would have changed the trajectory of the novel altogether. and i am not usually one to long for technology. but rrrrrr - cellphone, tony!!this is one of those "check out my unconventional structure, yo" novels. its shape is the novel-within-the novel: susan has received the unpublished manuscript of her former husband, which relationship she ruined by cheating on him with her current husband. she reads portions of the novel and then steps back, ruminating on what she is reading, and rehashing all her old mistakes and trying to discern a hidden meaning in the novel; a message directed at her. it considers the impact of fiction upon the reader, the writer's place within his own narrative, the problematic situation of reading a novel by someone intimately known to the reader, and the process a reader goes through in adapting the experiences in the novel to their own lives in order to make sense of a character's motivations. so, it has a lot going on, and gives me the same little bookish shivers as some of my favorite books: Mr. Peanut, The Seducer, Magnetic Field, The Sea Came in at Midnight; the same snap of realization, and even though there are parts that i think are less well-written than those books, i still have to applaud the intention and the way it all unfolds. it is definitely a fun read.fun, ha. yeah, the subject matter is not fun, though, it is a good example of discomfort writing. it is mostly about the consequences of hesitation and indecision, the gloriousi have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,and i have seen the eternal footman hold my coat, and snicker,and in short, i was afraid.situation.the looking at all the possible outcomes and realizing that in the thinking, the opportunity has been lost.the manuscript susan is reading is about tony, a man whose life is ruined because he is a man slow to act; a thinker who is at the shallow end of the masculinity pool. a man who does not know what to do with violence when he is confronted with it, but will maybe have to eventually tap into that side of himself.something like this, maybe:and susan, reading the tony character's story, begins to question what her own life has meant, and where her decisions have led her, and wonders where, in the edward she knew, this novel has germinated.it's good stuff. you will probably hate every single character, and want to slap them all around a little bit, but you might as well read it - there is hoopla about it, after all...

  • Andrew Smith
    2018-11-04 03:45

    A married woman gets the manuscript of a book entitled Nocturnal Animals through the post from an ex-husband she’s barely heard from in the past 20 years. So starts a novel that is one of the most interesting I’ve read in years. As Susan reads through the manuscript (a dark, dense and harrowing tale in its own right) she starts to reflect on the shortfalls of her current marriage and on her would be writer ex-husband, and the role she played in thwarting this aim. She also considers the meaning of the tale and the purpose of it having been sent to her.This book within a book format works well here and I found Nocturnal Animals itself to be a spooky but compelling tale; the style reminds me of Paul Auster’s The Music of Chance - it has the same retro, tale around the campfire feel to it.The whole piece is brilliantly constructed with prose that is clever and subtle throughout. Tony and Susan was first published in 1993 (the author died in 2003). It didn’t sell that well initially but has recently been re-published. It’s considered now – by some – to be an American literary masterpiece. I enjoyed it immensely.

  • Lalitha
    2018-11-02 04:38

    Incredibly disappointed by this book--Susan is reading a novel(Nocturnal Animals) sent to her by her ex-husband, Edward. For some reason, she feels that the manuscript is some sort of veiled threat from Edward (why she thinks this, I don't know--it really doesn't make sense. Susan is just neurotic). Tony, the main character in Edward's novel, is aggravating to the point where you just want to scream. I found myself wanting to just put down this book because I could not stomach the idiocy of Tony and Susan. I kept reading largely because I wanted to see how Tony's story is resolved (very unsatisfactorily). The hype for this novel simply isn't justified. Gah!

  • Joanne Harris
    2018-11-17 08:38

    Unfairly marketed as "the new GONE GIRL" (just how many of those are we going to get before publishers finally realize that this is about as much of a selling-point as "comes with its own raw blubber carrying-case"?), this is a truly spectacular book - part-thriller; part investigation into the uneasy relationship between reader and writer; part exploration of fiction; part study of human relationships, neuroses, anxiety, grief and what it means to be civilized. Don't go into it looking for easy answers, lovable characters, a linear plot or a satisfying resolution. Those things are for ordinary thrillers, and this is nothing like one of those. Do expect to be strangely gripped. Do expect to be haunted. Do expect to remember this book at odd times when you're driving at night, or when you encounter one of those pockets of human strangeness that make you reassess your world. Apparently it's all set to be a movie. If so, I shall avoid it, simply because I don't believe that the plot of this book - gripping though it undoubtedly is - is what makes it so unique. What makes it unique is the construction, the written style - so stark and yet idiosyncratic - and the queasy, lurching sense of something formless emerging from the two twisted strands of narrative. I've waited a long time for something like this to emerge from the wave of post-Gone-Girl ephemera: and this is it. A perfect conjunction of literary and genre. A classic, in the true sense.

  • AMEERA
    2018-11-16 04:39

    perfect and harsh story

  • Maiquel Costa
    2018-10-30 06:59

    La novela en la que se basa Animales nocturnos. Animales nocturnos es el título del manuscrito de Edward y tres noches lo que tarda Susan (su ex) en leerlo. La escena de los coches y la familia, los perturbados esos que no sabes por dónde te van a salir y demás, sin querer desvelar nada, es prácticamente idéntica a la película (aunque más adelante el libro tiene sus cambios) y posee la misma tensión y atmosfera mal rollera e insana. Me interesaba ver como el autor introducía la novela de Edward dentro de la parte de Susan, cómo lo combinaba. Al final lo hace de forma sencilla, que suele ser lo que mejor funciona. Un libro de culto en USA que no conocía y me ha encantado descubrir. La única pena no haber descubierto antes la novela que la película porque me ha quitado mucho intríngulis. Con todo, recomiendo ambas cosas.

  • Scarlet Cameo
    2018-10-24 08:45

    Este es uno de los libros que me cuesta reseñar y para ello hay dos razones, la primera es que trata dos historias, una de ellas, la vida de Susan y la otra, la historia de "Animales nocturnos", el manuscrito que Edward, ex-esposo de Susan, envía a nuestra protagonista para pedir su opinión; ambas tienen un tono bastante distinto, aun cuando se encuentran relacionadas. La otra razón, y es lo que me quitaré de encima rápidamente, es que he visto la película y considero que es un tanto superior al libro, el director hizo un manejo del lenguaje visual impresionante, además de que introdujo algunas variaciones a la historia y los personajes que, sin perder su esencia, hacen que todo, especialmente el final, sea más profundo e interesante (dejando de lado el hecho de que Susan debe serv despreciable para lograr este efecto).Creo que lo más sencillo es hablar de las historias de manera separada y luego conjuntarlas en la conclusión. Susan es una mujer que tras casarse con Edward, quien fuera un compañero de casa cuando fue niña, espera tener un futuro brillante, pero tras la deserción de Edward a su prometedora carrera como abogado para seguir su sueño de ser escritor, Susan se ve en una vorágine de frustración, soledad y suelos rotos, que lleva a la ruptura de su matrimonio, un segundo casamiento y el abandono de sus sueños profesionales en pos de apoyar la carrera de su actual marido. Su historia se centra en describirnos a Susan y como fue que su carácter la llevo a su situación actual, dando como resultado un personaje complejo, lleno de matices y con un profundidad bastante respetable, que fácilmente puede ser cualquier otro lector, tanto por la manera en que describe que se lleva a cabo su proceso lector como por todos los pensamientos que transitan su cabeza. Es a través de ella que conocemos a Edward, por tanto la descripción de él a pesar de ser detallada como la de un hombre inseguro, frustrado y con cierta simpleza, combate con la nueva imagen que Susan crea ahora gracias a las percepciones que le da la novela. A pesar de ser ella quien narra, y hablarnos muchísimas veces de su vid en realidad nunca llegamos a conocer a Susan, la manera en que Wright la describe nos lleva a dudar constantemente de quien es ella en realidad, por lo que terminamos notando que a pesar de su aparentemente civilizado exterior, nos deja entrever un interior oscuro y profundo, cargado de culpas, ira y terror por sí misma."Animales nocturnos" es el libro creado por Edward, narra la desgracia en la que cae Tony, cuando tras un viaje por carretera, pierde a su esposa e hija en un terrible asesinato perpetuado por tres bandidos. Esta historia es muchísimo más interesante que la vida de Susan, especialmente por lo que muestra acerca el autor y lo que fue su vida, quedando claro que esta historia es la prueba física de que se ha liberado de la sombra de Susan, además de que desea vengarse de ella (cosa que logra gracias a este manuscrito). Es aquí donde la parte de misterio se desarrolla de manera explícita, la persecución, el sentimiento de abandono y la soledad son tratados de manera magnífica, y puedo decir que el final de este manuscrito me pareció excelente y lo suficientemente trágico, inesperado y simbólico.Ahora bien, en conjunto ambas historias lo que buscan es demostrar la naturaleza de Susan y Edward, y como se deterioraron y lastimaron el uno al otro, además de cómo al caer la noche ninguno de los dos fue un santo. Cargada de introspección e hilada a través de personajes realistas e interesantes, se presta a ser magnífica dado que trata de una buena manera tanto historia como personajes, aunque no de manera conjunta. Aun con todo esto, la realidad es que al terminar la lectura algo falta: el misterio que rodeo una parte de la historia sabe a poco, y te deja la sensación de que el cierre total fue terriblemente abrupto y anti-climático. No se puede negar que el autor hace un buen trabajo en crear ambos mundos, y el desarrollo de personajes es excelente, pero esa inquietud que siente Susan durante la lectura, queda opacada por la dificultad del lector de sentir lo mismo por la totalidad del libro.

  • Sam Quixote
    2018-11-10 09:32

    Susan leads a comfortable suburban life: a doctor’s wife, a mother and homemaker, her quiet existence is interrupted when she receives her ex-husband Edward’s debut manuscript for her review: a novel called Nocturnal Animals. But she and Edward divorced over twenty years ago – why would he reach out to her now? Then as Susan begins reading she notices pieces of herself in the story – a vicious, dark story of revenge, rape and murder. Is Edward exorcising demons through his art or is this a veiled threat of what he’s planning to do to her and her family…? Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favourite actors who’s almost always in really interesting movies so when I saw the trailer for Nocturnal Animals, I wanted to read Austin Wright’s novel, Tony & Susan, first. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I hope it’s better than Wright’s novel – not that the book is bad but it’s very uneven in quality. The first hundred or so pages are amazing. Tony is the protagonist of Edward’s novel and he and his wife and daughter are headed to their holiday home in Maine, driving through the night to get there as soon as possible. Then at some point in the night they’re forced off the road and confronted by three thugs who separate Tony from his family, drive off with his wife and daughter, and things get worse from then on. Wright ramps up the tension superbly and the narrative is wonderfully unpredictable and as fast-paced as a great thriller should be. I even liked the little touches of awkwardly phrased sentences dotted throughout to remind you we’re reading an unedited manuscript which has yet to be buffed out. But after that initial burst of excitement things unfortunately slow down considerably. The novel shifts gears down quickly from a thriller to a slow, ponderous introspective character portrait that’s much less compelling to read. The story improves once the investigation for the thugs gets underway and every time Wright focuses on this, the novel becomes great again – the problem is when the narrative switches to Tony’s dreary day-to-day which is at least half the time. The story progresses slowly but it does progress and some scenes are better than others - Susan’s chapters, while few, were very dull and the final act is interminably drawn-out. The story is framed with Susan reading Edward’s novel - a story within a story – and what kept my interest the most throughout was the expectation of seeing Edward at the end and finding out what the point of it all was; except the ending is very underwhelming and disappointing. That said, you could – reading deeply between the lines – interpret a more satisfying meaning to it all symbolically. (view spoiler)[Tony’s wife and daughter could represent Susan while Ray Marcus (the rapist/murderer) could be Edward’s rage at Susan for cheating on and divorcing him; that all of them die could be Edward’s rage at Susan also dying (an idea highlighted by Edward not meeting Susan at the end to discuss her feedback of his book – he doesn’t care, he just wanted her to know that he’d moved on). Tony is written as a very weak-willed man and the flashback chapters to Susan and Edward’s married life shows Edward as similarly passive; Tony’s death at the end could represent the death of Edward’s passivity. In those same flashbacks, Susan is shown to doubt, even scorn, Edward’s literary ambitions and the manuscript she’s reading could represent Edward’s true revenge: that he became what she didn’t believe he would ever be: a great writer. Edward’s triumph is underscored by Susan’s current predicament where she is seemingly being edged out of her already shaky marriage by a younger woman in a similar way to how she got rid of her current husband’s first wife. Susan is shown to be a pathetic figure while Edward has achieved his dreams. That’s his real revenge: not in inflicting violence but by being a success. Though that’s the ending I like the most that might be too upbeat an ending and you could go another way with it. Edward is still bitter about Susan, hence why he sent her his manuscript at all – after all, you wouldn’t still want to prove something to someone you’ve gotten over years ago, would you? Detective Andes, in revealing he has cancer, could be Edward’s way of telling Susan that he has cancer; Tony’s death at the end could be Edward telling Susan that he’s going to commit suicide. That’s the real reason why he doesn’t show up at the end to meet Susan: he’s dead. I think that’s a bit of a silly interpretation though – would you really write an elaborate 300+ page suicide note disguised as a novel? Especially given that Edward’s ambition was to be a writer which he accomplishes in writing a pretty decent first novel, thus giving him a reason to live. Unless he has terminal cancer but still, a novel-sized puzzle of a suicide note is still ridiculous. Or, continuing this idea of Susan as a pathetic figure, maybe Tony is really meant to be Susan – hence the pairing in the title. In which case, maybe it is a threat against her life: Tony goes through hell before dying, so is that what Edward has in mind for her? (hide spoiler)]That’s how it goes sometimes with literary fiction: the genre loves the open-ended interpretations and it depends on the reader how they want to see it – and there’s almost certainly other ways to look at the novel I haven’t considered. The first hundred pages were outstanding and the rest of the book was intermittently good, though it really felt like a lot of scenes dragged on which diminished my enjoyment of the story. The ending too was really weak and, while you can come up with interpretations for it like I did, it feels like a helluva lot more heavy-lifting on the reader’s part to make up for the too-soft author’s touch – I can see why some people might resent that. Tony & Susan is an unusual and original novel that suffers the same problem a lot of literary novels do: letting the artiness get in the way of a good story.

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-11-04 08:49

    This is a re-release of a book that reviewed well but didn't have a large readership, the author has since passed away but the publishers think so highly of this book that they have given it a second chance. I have to admit that it really held my interest, it is a book within a book construct, but the foreboding tension of the story is fantastic. The last third of the book was not as good as what came before but it has stuck in my mind. That is always the sign to me of a successful book.

  • J.M. Cornwell
    2018-11-07 05:38

    A story within a story that fails to deliver more than passing interest.Edward, Susan’s first husband, has sent her his novel, Nocturnal Animals, to read before he comes to visit. Susan, a little at loose ends with her husband in New York at a conference, reads the manuscript and is caught up in Tony’s dilemma. Is there more to the story or is Susan reading too much into it?In what seems to be a treatise on modern marriage and selfishness, Austin Wright’s Tony and Susan is a study in contrast and futility. Susan is unsure why she left Edward and remarried, choosing to blind herself to the truth, and Edward, in his own way, is telling Susan he was ineffective and could not or would not fight for her until it was too late. The protagonist in Edward’s novel is an academic, a pale and cold man whose grief over the rape and murder of his wife and daughter barely skim the surface of his existence. He says all the right things and appears shell-shocked in the aftermath of discovering their bodies, but their deaths fail to touch a fundamental core response. Tony is useless, an automaton going through the motions of a happy life without ever being truly happy or reveling in the joys and togetherness of family. His distance from his brother in Chicago is more than a symptom; it is the fundamental truth of his life. Susan is a bored housewife of a successful man. She has a lovely home, beautiful and talented children, and a husband who cheats on Susan as he cheated on his first wife with her. Arnold, Susan’s husband, seems to be an arrogant jerk, and she does not know whether she should have stayed married to Edward, ineffectual and colorless Edward. Wright’s twisted sentences are like a corridor of mirrors that reflect endlessly without coming near the real thing, the people who cast the reflections. He fails to give Tony, Susan, Edward, or Arnold more than a glancing touch with his narrative brush. With passages like It was important to recognize the importance of things, for he knew now that everything important was important, nothing was more important than importance. from Edward’s novel and the disjointed, rushing language that is supposed to depict Tony’s disorientation during and after the hijacking incident, Wright muddies the waters. Tony and Susan fights for an identity, for some clear point of view that will support the author’s thesis. While there are moments when Edward’s novel is fast paced and evocative, the rest of the novel is as colorless and cowardly as Tony is. There is little risk and the payoff is questionable. Wright’s novel within a novel construction will doubtless wow the literati but provides little in the way of an interesting story or larger themes. One thing Wright did get right was the way Edward’s novel was written as an amateur’s first draft. The rest is too subtle and highbrow for this reviewer. ###

  • David Corbett
    2018-10-26 06:36

    The most gripping, unusual, elegantly written fiction I’ve read in some time. Though “postmodern mysteries” too often trend toward the over-precious and self-absorbed, this one delivers in a very fundamental, even insidious way. Ex-husband Edward, after twenty years of separation, sends remarried ex-wife his manuscript about a man whose wife and daughter are abducted, raped, and murdered along an empty stretch of Pennsylvania freeway, after which he stumbles into something akin to revenge. The book-within-a-book is riveting, but it’s Susan’s response to what she didn’t know about Edward, and thus herself, that lifts an otherwise excellent read to the level of the unforgettable.

  • Coral Davies
    2018-11-13 02:34

    That was officially the longest 2 weeks of my life. Never has a book stretched out for so long, seemingly never-ending, and I have read the LOTR trilogy!Honestly? I hated this book. I didn't like Susan (the narrator) - I felt she was smug, even after excavating her crappy life with her adulterous husband. I found her parts particularly boring. I just didn't care.The manuscript by Edward (Susan's ex-husband of the past 25 years) was somewhat more interesting. I like a good crime novel. However, it didn't blow me away and in the end I didn't care what happened - whether those criminals received a swift and merciless justice or the victim suffered indefinitely. I also disliked the writing "style". The "literary technique" of either not finishing sentences logically or typing them out like Yoda might speak. It was forced, a desperate attempt at making this novel about how one writes and reads rather than how we associate a books narrative with our own lives in order to understand or contextualise a characters actions/situation. I didn't buy it and nothing interesting was revealed to me. Don't bother. Honestly. After I was about half way through I started skipping whole pages in order to move on with my life. It gets one star because for some reason I didn't just toss the damn thing away, clearly something about it intrigued me enough that I wanted to know what happened.

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2018-10-29 02:33

    Well. That was unexpected. I've never read a book anything like this ever.Totally unique and deeply thought-provoking. Cleverly written too. I started it mid-afternoon and it's now 2:20am and with my eyes struggling to stay open I had to finish it. Cover to cover.Susan gets sent a manuscript from her ex-husband. The book is titled Nocturnal Animals. During their marriage he was a frustrated, often depressed writer and she criticised his writing quite harshly. Theirs was a complex relationship. So when this book turns up many years later - both of them now married to new people the question is why?This novel is unusual as we get to be Susan. We are in her mind and feel her feelings as she reads the novel but we are also reading the book he's written too. So it's like reading two books in one. Both writing styles are very different. Clever of the author to do that. The actual manuscript story had me hooked and riveted. One hell of a twisted tale.The characters in the manuscript are fantastic. The dark, menacing bad ones especially so. The author did a top notch job of really making the characters just as central to this novel as the plot. In saying that I did struggle with "knowing" Susan fully. In a way it's meant to be like that I think as we switch between reading the manuscript and Susan's current days as she reads it whilst her husband is away on a business trip. As Susan reads she shares and reflects on her past life with her ex but also what the book is making her feel and what is stirred up. It's an interesting perspective to be a reader, in a characters mind as they read a book. Layers upon layers. Quite unusual.I liked this more than I expected. It's not a light book, it requires some focus and attention. It's incredibly good because you not only want to know how the manuscript story ends but also how Susan's story ends after she's finished the book. Her ex sent her a note requesting to meet her you see, after many years to hear her opinion on his book. You are questioning all the time many things within these two storylines that really are one.If the manuscript was published as a novel in its own right then I loved it. 5 stars from me. Some aspects of Susan's reading perspective and how it's projected is why this didn't hit 5 stars overall for me. But know this - I highly recommend this book if you fancy something different, somewhat challenging and to be led where you don't know where either ending will land. It's impossible to predict either. The manuscript story is thrilling, with aspects of crime, justice, grief and the dark side of human beings. I was eager to keep going back into that part of this novel.The author sadly passed away in 2003, he has however left behind a great novel. The book was first published in 1993 then had a resurgence in 2010 with republication. I'll be seeing what other books he may have written. Such a unique and memorable book this was. So I give this 4, almost 4.5 stars overall and as I said the manuscript within 5 stars that Susan is invited to read. So, dare you step into the pages dear reader? Please do. Something out of the ordinary is great. I read a paperback edition of this book, bought new in Waterstones. A movie has been made of this book called Nocturnal Animals, starting Jake Gyllenhall which I am keen to try to see.

  • Sharon
    2018-10-19 10:32

    Originally published as Tony and Susan, Nocturnal Animals is described on the cover as "extraordinary", "nail-biting", "truly horrifying", "gripping and unsettling", "absorbing, terrifying, beautiful and appalling, unforgettable". So, I thought I was in for a thrilling ride. It's the story of Susan Morrow, who receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Ed. Ed and Susan haven't spoken in years, so this is completely out of the blue. Susan reads the novel in three sittings, and we get to read it with her, so the chapters are split between Ed's novel (called Nocturnal Animals, hence the title) and Susan's reaction to it. We also get chapters about Susan's life. Ed has told Susan he will be visiting and wants to speak to her about the book as "she was always his best critic." The novel is disturbing - a man (Tony) is travelling in a car with his wife and daughter when they're ran off the road by a group of thugs. Tony is driven off in one car, his wife and daughter in another - and that's the last time he sees them alive. We follow Tony's journey to find justice for his family and to seek revenge. Ed's novel was choppy - it's hard to get into it at first, but then the story takes off. I really enjoyed the first part - I actually enjoyed the entire first 150 pages or so of this novel as a whole, I liked the build up and I liked Susan's reaction. I hated Tony, I thought he was a fool, but that usually isn't enough to turn me off a book. What turned me off here was the promise of action, the hint of excitement - why is Susan worried? Is this a threat from Ed? Is he plotting something? Is there something wrong? Is it a message to Susan? I raced through Ed's novel to get to Susan's "real life" chapters and was treated to pages and pages of her reminiscing about stuff that had happened when she was married to Ed, or about wondering if her new boring husband Arnold was being faithful. It was so, so boring. A "gripping, thrilling ride" this is not. Yes, Ed's fictional story is mildly interesting, but it just reads like an amateur crime novel in need of a good editor (which it is, I suppose). I feel like we were being set up for something and it just didn't happen. I feel duped. Total and utter waste of reading time - the story within a story has been a thing for centuries (Shakespeare even did it) - and I like it - but it only makes sense if there's a connection between fiction and reality, otherwise it's just a woman reading a boring book. Or, in this case, a woman who spent the guts of two weeks reading a boring book about a woman reading a boring book.

  • SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*
    2018-10-21 03:57

    This book annoyed me to the point of madness. It was filled with unbelievable situations,ridiculous choices and irritating ,ineffectual characters. I am floored that someone read this book and proclaimed,"This book will make a great movie,someone get Gyllenhaal on the phone" It was as pointless as my dog chasing her tail,but a least she seems to get enjoyment from it.

  • Selene Matheson
    2018-10-18 05:46

    2.5 StarsFor a thriller it's pretty slow paced and boring.

  • Caidyn (BW Book Reviews; he/him/his)
    2018-10-18 08:41

    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.1.5/5DNF at page 33Usually, I don't review books that I don't get at least 15% into. If I put them on my currently reading shelf, I'll quietly take it off. The only time I rate or review is when I have a severe problem with something about the book. And, the thing is, the problem I have with this book isn't that severe.I saw the movie first. When I watched the Oscar's and saw the clips they used for Nocturnal Animals, I had to watch it. I'm a bit of a glutton for horror. What impressed me most about the movie was how quiet it was and how it kept my attention the whole time. There was an undercurrent of tension the whole time where I wanted to know what would happen. How would things be resolved? Yet, nothing happened at the same time. Things didn't change or happen and, in the end, it was a decent movie with a great director who knew how to spin a tale.So, I decided to read the book the movie was based on.It's told from two very different perspectives. Susan gets a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward. He wants her to read it before he has it published. Then, the other point of view is that of Tony, the father in the story Susan's reading.Let's just say, if you like The Road, you'll probably like this. Sadly, I didn't like that book. I found it boring and I hated the writing style to it. There was no connection to the characters. That's how I felt with this book. Not only does Wright just not use commas, quotations, etc when he writes in Susan's perspective, but he doesn't explain anything. Who's Martha? Oh, a chapter later you find out that she's a cat. Who's Henry and Dorothy? Maybe her kids? I don't know still. Names are thrown out, concepts thrown out, without being fully explored. You get the sense that Susan's unhappy with her life and thinks her second husband could be cheating on her, but it's never followed up.I found Tony's story, both in the book and the movie, far more compelling. (The movie also used the same actor for Tony and Edward, which was a great choice.) However, having seen the movie and realizing how close the book stuck to the movie, I knew it wasn't going to end with me happy.In the end, I was left feeling completely disconnected from a story that, given the subject matter I know it tackles, should have drawn me in. At least with the movie there was music and great acting to bring it to life.

  • Antonio
    2018-10-26 03:30

    Este es uno de esos libros que al terminarlo te deja en blanco, como en shock, como en una especie de trance. La historia no es lo más original que he leído, por la mitad se desinfla y ofrece un drama de "cómo adaptarse a la vida cuando has perdido lo que más quieres" y luego remonta para ofrecer un final intenso, tan trágico como satisfactorio. Tres noches juega a dos bandas, una es la historia de una mujer, Susan, insatisfecha, o vacía con su vida, que recibe el manuscrito de su ex marido Edward. De esa historia vamos sabiendo cómo la novela va afectado a Susan y conocemos el pasado de ella con Edward. En la otra historia (el manuscrito de Edward) vemos una historia de venganza, violencia contenida, un thriller absorbente y cruel. "Tres noches" no tiene una prosa poética, va directamente al grano, no se anda con chiquitas. Un libro magnetico, oscuro y atractivo.

  • Patricia Nedelea
    2018-10-20 07:35

    This time I like the movie (Nocturnal Animals) better than the book. It was an elegant visual feast!

  • Martinis
    2018-11-08 04:51

    Ho letto moltissime critiche a questo romanzo e la più ricorrente potremmo tranquillamente riassumerla in un "e quindi? dove vogliamo andare a parare?", che però (a mio parere) è una domanda pertinente soltanto se ci si concentra unicamente sulla narrazione in sè e per sè. Nell'insieme, io c'ho visto dell'originalità.Attraverso una scrittura liquida che ho apprezzato, Tony & Susan diventa presto un unboxing, un continuo livello di lettura dopo l'altro, forse un esperimento narrativo? Non un thriller di certo, l'incipit alla Criminal Minds non è che un pretesto, un contentino alla nostra curiosità più infima, per farci entrare nella mente di Susan e cercare insieme a lei un qualche significato finale. Un romanzo che mi ha ricordato spesso una composizione musicale, un viaggio lucido nell'introspezione di Tony & Susan, i due lati di una moneta.Non griderei al capolavoro, in definitiva, però ve lo consiglio.

  • Francisco
    2018-10-25 07:43

    Tenía que darle unaa oportunidad... y ya se la he dado. No aporta mucho más de lo esperado, avanza a trancas y barrancas, y cuando termina cerramos el libro sin pena ni gloria. a

  • Akai
    2018-11-09 06:38

    [El título en español es "Tres noches"]1,5Si no le pongo menos puntuación es porque reservo el "1 estrella" para libros que despiertan en mí un odio profundo.En este caso no siento odio: solo decepción y aburrimiento. Pero tampoco merece del todo las dos estrellas, así que lo dejo en 1,5.Os resumo el libro en una frase: la protagonista lee un libro que ha escrito su ex-marido.Cuando empecé a leer, creí que sería un thriller y que las dos historias (la de la protagonista y la del libro que lee) se juntarían en algún momento o de algún modo.Pos no. El libro que lee la protagonista trata de ser un thriller, pero no llega a tanto. Al principio se plantea una situación muy interesante, con un grupo de maleantes que atacan a una familia y se llevan a la mujer y la hija, dejando al padre abandonado en mitad de la carretera.Luego viene una pseudo-investigación policial y todo acaba de una manera muy rara. Por no mencionar que se hace innecesariamente largo y rebuscado ._.Por otro lado tenemos la historia de la protagonista, la que lee el manuscrito. Me sobra totalmente que vaya comentando lo que lee. Especialmente si es para decir "este libro es bueno" cuando a mí me está pareciendo un peñazo.Creo que la idea de hacer una historia dentro de una historia, de avanzar en la lectura junto a la protagonista, es muy interesante. Pero es que el punto de vista de la protagonista no aporta nada!!! Ah, sí, aparte de sus impresiones, habla de que su gata se sienta encima del manuscrito. Buf, fascinante.Por no mencionar los interludios, que son esos momentos en los que no está leyendo el libro, pero te cuenta su vida en verso: cómo conoció a su ex-marido y cómo terminó con su actual marido. No hace falta dedicar más de 50 páginas a esto. Si fuera información vital para comprender la historia, no me quejaría... pero es que no hace falta!!!! En concreto lo de su actual marido, se puede resumir en un párrafo. No hacían falta 30 páginas, de verdad.Otra cosa que no me ha gustado nada han sido los diálogos. Algunos son absurdamente largos y redundantes, sin acotaciones. Pero al menos en el manuscrito los diálogos vienen señalizados..... en las partes en las que vemos a la protagonista, no hay ni guiones, ni comillas, ni punto aparte, ni leches. Los diálogos y pensamientos se integran en la narración sin venir a cuento.Ejemplo 1: "Si Edward no podía vivir sin escribir, ella no podía vivir sin leer. Y sin mí, Edward, no tendrías razón de existir, pensó." Ejemplo 2: "Discúlpame, responde, tendrás que arreglártelas sin mí".En definitiva: el libro es un tostón que no lleva a ninguna parte. Lo único interesante es el planteamiento y los mensajes que intenta transmitir. Pero no son motivo suficiente para que recomiende este libro a nadie.

  • Marjorie
    2018-11-13 09:34

    This book is a story within a story and is the basis of the new movie “Nocturnal Animals” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams. Susan, divorced from Edward and now married to Arnold, receives a letter from Edward, whom she hasn’t heard from in 20 years. He’s written a book and wants her opinion. His book is “Nocturnal Animals”, a very suspenseful thriller whose main character, Tony Hastings, is driving his wife and daughter to their summer home in Maine when they run into some seriously scary problems. I wanted to read this book before seeing the movie but the only edition I could get from the library was the audio version. I haven’t listened to an audio book in a very long time but think I could get very used to being able to do other things, like cook dinner or work on a jigsaw puzzle, while someone is reading to me – nice! I found this to be thoroughly addictive and stayed up late into the night wanting to hear just one more chapter. The book smoothly moves back and forth between Edward’s novel and what’s happening to Susan as she reads this book. Susan begins to re-live her past with Edward. She begins to wonder what type of man Edward has become and whether this book and Edward’s request for her to read it is his means of sending her some type of a message about their marriage. Is he calling her to account for not trusting his ability to become an author? The book started to drag a bit for me towards the end and Susan at times could be irritating but the ultimate endings of both stories was pitch perfect. This is a literary work so don’t get it just for the thriller part. It’s the type of literary work that will have different meaning to different readers and would be a great choice for discussion in a book club as it leaves a lot of questions in the reader’s mind. I’ve actually seen this marketed as the new “Gone Girl” even though it was written in 1993. This book is much more profound than “Gone Girl” will ever be.A unique and inventive story about the power of the written word, the responsibility of authors to their readers, revenge, grief, marriage and trust. The movie has become a must see for me but I’m not sure if a movie version of this book will fly since it’s the author’s writing ability that shines more so than the story. Though I’ve started another book, I can’t stop thinking about this one and know I will never forget it. Sad that the author is no longer with us and won’t know of the revival his book has had.Highly recommended.

  • Marc Nash
    2018-10-31 03:41

    Loved the conceit at the heart of this book - you the reader are reading 'along with' the main character Susan who is reading a manuscript of her ex-husband's novel. So when we react to the drama or the tension as a reader, so is she. But she is involved directly, because this is her ex-husband's work. So we also see the struggle when she has to put the manuscript down to do the daily chores or to consider her current marriage or her previous one. It's also a book about revenge - revenge is at the heart of the manuscript, but it's also present somewhere in the relationships of the people outside of the book, Susan, her husband and her ex-husband. However for me the novel didn't quite clinch on this and I felt it was slightly over-focused on the manuscript story to the detriment of the story of Susan & those around her. The why this manuscript, in this form and why now at this point of her life were never really successfully answered for me. Still, a worthwhile read

  • Piglet
    2018-11-07 07:52

    It was a total waste of time and natural resources. The thriller part was thrilling to begin with, but the love story was just boring. I couldn' t care less about the protagonists and their sorry love lives. And i couldn't see any meaning in intertwining the two stories. Was the thriller supposed to cast some light on their failed marriage? If so, it didn't do it for me. Even the thriller got too complicated and lost its momentum after a few chapters. I read in one rewiev that Susan thought the manuscript to be a warning. This is even more baffling to me. A warning of what? That the intellectual Edward had turned in to a madman seeking revenge because Susan had left him twentyfive years ago? The "meta" aspect of it, novel in a novel, was just "pseudoartistic bullshit" as my boyfriend used to say. The writer obviously had some sort of aspirations to make a metaphysical or philosophical point, unclear which, but sadly lacked talent to narrate it.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-17 09:47

    I thought that this book was a thriller inside another narrative. And for the first few chapters of the book within the book there is a thrill. But then it dissolves into a police procedural and ends in complete lunacy. But what's worse is the narrative wrapped around the so-called thriller is really quite awful. When was the last time you used the word "lest"....as in "lest we forget something or other"? Well, it's used here - a lot. The writing is so awkward and heavy handed that I started counting the lests. I got to 7 but maybe I missed some. They came in groups. This book is being turned into a movie from Tom Ford. He can probably make something or it as long as the word "lest" is not in the script. For once I'd say you could skip the book and go straight to film.

  • Amanda Harlow
    2018-10-22 04:42

    Writing was strange. I was expecting some exciting plot twist, it did not happen. Tony and Susan were both odd characters and I could not relate to them. Maybe the movie will be better? Haha

  • Ahmed Gohary
    2018-11-06 06:55

    قصة الفيلم الرهيب Nocturnal Animalsسأبحث عن الرواية لأتأكد من اني قد فهمت الاحداث بشكل صحيح

  • Victoria Watson
    2018-11-18 02:46

    Apparently this novel was first released in 1993 but is being given a second crack at success. And rightfully so.This is an intelligent story within a story – Susan is a middle-aged housewife who lives in her second husband Arnold’s shadow. She receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward and the reader gets to enjoy Edward’s novel along with Susan’s reactions to the narrative. The reader also is privy to the resurgence of Susan’s memories which are provoked by Edward’s sudden reappearance in her life. Susan has barely heard from Edward in 20 years but his letter, asking her to read his novel, provokes a dearth of memories of him and his desperation to be a writer. She doubts the novel will be any good but what we were treated to is a gripping thriller that keeps the reader guessing. In his novel, Nocturnal Animals, Edward writes of right and wrong, retribution and revenge.The reader can compare their own critique of Edward’s novel with Susan’s, as well as feeling her quiet desperation at dreams lost and suburban life. As both stories progress, we also get to learn about Susan and Edward’s back story while she examines the life choices she made.Nocturnal Animals itself is a great thriller but I was disappointed with the last third of the book although Susan didn’t seem to notice, despite admitting she was often over-critical of Edward’s writing during their marriage. Nocturnal Animals was written with such tension that I was expecting a big reveal or twist at the end which I never got so that was a disappointment and I have to admit I expected a confession or an unusual outcome but it never happened. Although, I daresay that was the point.Tony and Susan is a great post-modern read and justifies Atlantic’s decision to reissue it.