Friday, May 08, 2015

Orient by Christopher Bollen


Orient is a small island at the end of Long Island, which has seen its tightly knit community start to erode as rich people try to move to the island as an alternative to the Hamptons. Those that grew up on the island don't want to see this happen and the community board is doing everything it can to stop the influx of cash. Paul Benchley is one that grew up on the island, though he left to become an architect before returning when his mom was sick. The locals find out that Paul is bringing home a kid from the city to help clean out his mom's house and it doesn't go over well. Mills Chevern is that kid, one that's hopped around from foster home to foster home, and has had drug problems in the past. Mills' arrival sets of a chain of events that change the island forever. The local care taker is found drowned in the water and a mutant animal washes up on the beach.

This book is a long book (600+ pages) and has a lot of characters, so it takes a bit of time to get in to and remember who is who. But the upfront investment is definitely worth it. You really get to explore the characters in this book and find out what makes them tick. Granted, a good chunk of them grated on my nerves. There were many self-righteous local villagers who have tunnel vision and there's Beth who hits it off with Mills but finds out she's pregnant and can't make a decision on whether she wants to keep the baby. It takes Beth at least 350 pages, if not more, to make that decision! All of this helps build a great base for a pretty interesting mystery.

Looking back, having finished the book, I felt like there were chapters were not much happened, and yet at the time of reading I didn't seem to notice. The mystery of this book was good and there were lots of items to try and put you off the trail of who was responsible. There were a few times when I wished more was revealed sooner in the book but I was happy with the ending. Not the type of town I'd want to live in!!

First Line: "This is how I first saw you, Long Island, on a map in the front seat of Paul Benchley's car."

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour.

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About the Author
Christopher Bollen is an editor at large for Interview magazine. He is the author of the novel Lightning People, and his work has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, the Believer, and Artforum, among other publications. He lives in New York.

Check out his Website

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not the type of town I'd like to live in either, that's for sure!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.