Ill Will

Ill Will

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"In 1983, Dustin Tillman's family--his parents and his aunt and uncle--were murdered in a shocking massacre. His foster brother, Rusty, was convicted of the crime, in a trial that was steeped in the "Satanic Cult" paranoia of the 1980s. Thirty years later, Rusty's conviction is overturned, and suddenly Dustin, now a psychologist, must question whether his testimony that imprisoned his brother was accurate. When one of his patients, an ex-cop, gets him deeply involved in a series of unsolved murders, Dustin's happy suburban life starts to unravel, as his uncertainties about his past and present life begin to merge"--
Publisher: New York :, Ballantine Books,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780345476043
Branch Call Number: FIC CHA
Characteristics: 461 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Mar 07, 2021

this book has such a great feeling of the end the hair on the back of my neck was permanently upright!!!!

Jul 19, 2020

Beware. This book is very creepy and has a disturbing ending.

Nov 19, 2019

Dan Chaon's Ill Will blew me away. I found the story reminiscent of Palahniuk's Fight Club, but with much deeper psychological portraits. The book is not for the faint of heart, though--Dan piles tragedy on top of tragedy. He turns his characters inside out and then some. He never provides easy answers to the question of how darkness perpetuates itself. In Ill Will he shows the manipulator's power to pilot the unwary and guileless towards their own personal spectacular train wreck.

Aug 06, 2018

Odd disagreeable characters. Meandering implausible plot, annoying gimmicks, disappointing ending. WAPO Review said it was the scariest of the year. Must have been referring to the length given what it had to offer.

Nov 27, 2017

This is about as dark a book as I have ever read. Those who don't enjoy at least an occasional visit to the darker reaches of the human psyche may be uncomfortable with this. It is at times close to be a transgressive story.

That said, this is one of the best books I have read this year. Choan intimately knows psychological darkness and despair, and that comes through in this novel. I audibly gasped at many passages, and I don't think I will forget this book anytime soon, if ever.

However, he does pull a few punches at the very end, and so I can only give 4.5 starts instead of five.

ArapahoeStaff26 Nov 09, 2017

A wild, unsteady ride as a father and son, separately, try to stay in touch with reality and a coherent sense of self, after the death of their wife/mother. There is a horrifying unsolved murder in the father's past and a troubling new friend has entered his present life.

Aug 29, 2017

I agree with jachayden's comment. VERY underwhelming. I've struggled to get 80% through it, but now that I've read that the end doesn't wrap up everything, I'm not going to bother to finish. It just drags so much. No likeable characters. I also didn't get whatever is deep about this, because I too was looking for a fast paced mystery.

Jul 21, 2017

I was underwhelmed by this book. The premise was really cool and could have made for a really great suspenseful novel. But it was very oddly and illogically written. The 'unique' structuring of some pages, ie. words and sentences written in random disorganized boxes, sentences with larges amounts of space between words and paragraphs, and sentences that stop altogether in the middle or themselves, were just distracting rather than engaging or intriguing. The whole story was very nonsensical and unappealing. The ending was abrupt and relied heavily on characters that were barely present throughout the story. Not a single story line was completed or explained. I get the impression that there was quite a bit of symbolism that I did not pick up on, but when the book I am reading sells itself as a fast-paced thriller, I'm not in the mindset to pick up and interpret surrealist notions.

Jul 05, 2017

This book is like a Hitchcock movie - lots of twists and turns. The story is told by a few characters.

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