Things aren't going well for Joseph Geist. He's broke. His graduate school advisor won't talk to him. And his girlfriend has kicked him out of her apartment, leaving him homeless and alone.
It's a tough spot for a philosopher to be in, and he's ready to give up all hope of happiness when an ad in the local paper catches his eye.'Conversationalist wanted', it reads. Which sounds perfect to Joseph. After all, he's never done anything in his life except talk. And the woman behind the ad turns out to be the perfect employer: brilliant, generous, and willing to pay him for making conversation. Before long, Joseph has moved in with her, and has begun to feel very comfortable in her big, beautiful house. So comfortable, in fact, that he would do anything to stay there-forever.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 496 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 25/05/2010
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780751540291
- EPUB from £4.99
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by everfresh1
After enjoying 'Brutal art' I wanted to like this novel. I thought first hundred pages were brilliant. But then it just went nowhere. It's a pity since Jesse Kellerman can write.
Review by literarytiger
Joseph Geist is a long time philosophy graduate, still trying to graduate with a Harvard PhD after spending seven years trying to write his thesis. His girlfriend has kicked him out, his family life is a shambles and he has no money. Finding a job to suit his intellectual talents and needs seems almost impossible until he answers and ad for a 'conversationalist' and so meets the mysterious Alma, an elderly lady looking for company.All goes well until Alma's nephew shows up demanding money. Joseph becomes progressively more jealous and protective of his new employer. This is a recipe for tragedy and disaster, and Kellerman once again does not disappoint.Despite this being a relatively easy book to get through, it was really well written. There were some marvelous turns of phrase, some pertinent and fascinating thoughts, but most of all, the character development was really wonderful. It is written in the first person, but you are never sure how you feel about Joseph the narrator. This is probably because the author portrays his insecurities so accurately and so well that you almost feel uncomfortable being inside his head. The ending is really appropriate. Without giving too much away, look out for Chapter 21 where the point of view switches so the narrator, although telling his own story, seems to be doing it from one step back. It is eerie and absolutely spot on.
Review by nicola26
I have mixed feelings surrounding this book. It started off okay, then got pretty good, then steadily got worse for the last half of the book. Joseph is... annoying. He's immature and the book reads much like I imagine his dissertation did- long and full of tangents. The people in this book don't act like you would expect people to act. The whole think just felt too ridiculous to be an enjoyable book. Joseph's character change at the end was too abrupt and came completely out of nowhere. I liked Yasmina at the beginning, but she turned out to be quite annoying by the end. Joseph's paranoia is tiring, and despite what he says, I feel like he was the one taking advantage of the old woman- not the woman's nephew. He was jealous and petty, and it ruined what could have potentially been an interesting story. It gets three stars for the parts that I really enjoyed.