Book Review: The Listener by Shira Nayman


This is an older title, published in 2009.  I just wanted to mention that because the books I’ve been reviewing recently are newer.  Since I started working for the library, however, I’m grabbing books off the shelf left and right regardless of publication date.  I’m still trying to find old books that still ring with readability!
But unfortunately, this was not one of those books.  This was one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I’m a sucker for good cover art and this one won me over. I’m usually one of those people who, after a chapter two, if I’m not drawn in, I call it quits. There was a pull about this book that I couldn’t let go because I kept hoping it would get better. I think the biggest flaw in this book was that it was written by a psychologist as opposed to a literary author/novelist. I understand that because this book took place in a mental institution post-WWII there would be some psychiatric language but this book was just downright disorienting! The author would end scenes mid-conversation, she left a whole host of questions unanswered, and it was just maddening to read the thoughts of this doctor who clearly was insane himself. The drama of his personal life did not draw me in at all, and I never felt attached to any of the characters, with the exception of perhaps Bertram because of his wartime experiences. But overall I thought this book had flat characters, a dull story line, and was very poorly written.

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