Tall Oaks: My Honest Review

Tall Oaks or a tall order? 

Hello lovelies, I finally got around to reading Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker after over a year and thought it was the perfect opportunity for a review. I first heard about this novel at an all-day university event little over a year ago. We were lucky enough to spend the day in the company of some fantastic authors. They told us about their books, the process of writing and publishing and even answered our questions. Our first writers of the day were Chris Whitaker and Graham Minett. I've never met a writer before so this was an enlightening experience for me and they were so lovely so that was a bonus. They told us a bit about their books and after talking for a bit and reading us extracts, they even signed copies for us. At the time I only had money for one and chose The Hidden Legacy because it appealed to me the most at the time but I made sure to take a note of Chris Whitaker's book for a later date. Before Christmas, I found a copy of Tall Oaks in Sainsbury's and bought it straight away.

It' taken me a lot longer than I care to admit to actually finish this book. It's been sat on my bedside table since January and it's only today that I read the majority of the novel. This isn't from any fault of the novel, I was just too lazy to actually sit and read it. I regret not finishing it sooner. Tall Oaks is a bizarre novel. It's a dark comedy about a small town after an event, the disappearance of a three-year-old boy. There's something familiar about this novel. If you've seen the TV show Fargo then this novel is for you, it's got the same kind of tone. It's raw and realistic and funny. The humour pervades through the narrative with characters like Manny, a wannabe gangster that tries and fails to shake down a pizza hut. There's something funny in each chapter - not laugh out loud humour but comedy nonetheless.

Each chapter is a series of snippets of people living in the town. There are a handful of different characters leading separate lives throughout the pages but they're all linked through the singular event, Harry's disappearance and the small time they live in. It's one of those small towns where everybody knows everything about one another but everybody is keeping some sort of secret. One thing is for certain: I was aching to find out what happened to Harry. It's not a crime fiction novel where you can make your own deductions about the crime, you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride learning things about all these individuals that live and work in this town. I don't want to give too much away about the storyline but I will recommend this book. This novel is so original and really worth a read. It's no surprise that Chris Whitaker won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger award with this novel. I should probably add that this is his debut. I know that I will be racing out to buy his new novel at the first opportune moment.

I've really missed writing reviews so hopefully, I'll have another to post at some point. I was planning to post one before Christmas on Matt Haig's How to Stop Time but it somehow got deleted and I never got around to rewriting it. Maybe I will, soon. I have just picked up two new books, so look out for those reviews on here at some point too. I would like to thank you, once again, for taking the time to visit my blog and read this post. It means the world to me. Thank you.

Tiffani x


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