Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling Oliver

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
11
Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children's books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease-- until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma. In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple's friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation, detailing how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.
Publisher: New York : Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2017
Edition: First Scout Press hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781501167751
1501167758
9781501173387
1501173383
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 260 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

SkokieStaff_Steven Aug 28, 2018

Liz Nugent’s “Unraveling Oliver” is a kind of Goldilocks of suspense fiction: not too cold, not too hot, not too short, not too long, not too soft, not too hard. In the first chapter, we learn that Oliver Ryan, a handsome, well-to-do, and suave author of a beloved series of children’s books, has just beaten his wife nearly to death. As the book progresses, we trace back the course of Oliver’s life through his own recollections as well as the memories of people who knew him. By the end, we understand what sparked Oliver’s heinous act while discovering a great deal about the deeply damaged man who performed it. Unlike in many thrillers, the characters in this book do not behave ridiculously nor do the plot developments unduly strain credulity. Nugent’s skillfully constructed book is thoughtful and measured, and all the more effective because of her restraint.

p
Pisinga
Jul 16, 2018

Suspense is heated with every subsequent chapter in each of which appears new facts about life of Oliver, both, from himself and from stories told by those who met him in the course of life.
For me, at the end, there was no moment for exclamation-what a turn!
On the contrary, the feeling of some everydayness. As if- everybody lived happily ever after.
Character of Oliver seemed to me not quite real. Usually those who grew up without a love of the parent, in adulthood try to be unlike the ones who brought them so much sadness. But here, Oliver is doing everything to win his father's love, to become worthy of attention of person who didn't have any feelings for him and just considered him as annoyance.

ArapahoeLesley Jul 06, 2018

A great cast of narrators make this book extra intriguing as we get to know Oliver how he sees himself and how the other people in his life see him and his relationship with his wife. You have to hate Alice for being such a dip, but Oliver's freakish charm does win you over a bit.

g
gbroser
Feb 21, 2018

Really enjoyed the twists and turns of this novel. Good read

s
Sara0113
Feb 07, 2018

Storyline was good, just slow moving with an anticlimactic ending.

k
Kawcity
Feb 02, 2018

This book is a refreshing find for a new year! Author Liz Nugent has skillfully crafted a good tale that capitalizes on the haunting loss innocently perceived by persons victimized by the cruel undertow of deception. Nugent’s writing style is reminiscent of that of Ruth Rendell, who for decades reigned as the queen of psychological mystery. It has been quite some time since I have devoured a book with such enjoyment.

c
carolefort
Dec 25, 2017

The story begins with Oliver Ryan, a best-selling children's author, violently beating his wife, who is also the illustrator of his books. From that point on, the novel goes back in time. Each chapter is narrated by a different person, each involved in the life of Oliver. Unraveling Oliver peels back the layers of Oliver's life, leading up to the domestic violence, revealing how his life brought him to sink to such a level.. I highly recommend this book, especially if you like reading psychological suspense. There is much to enjoy here. A captivating read.

d
dcafk
Dec 09, 2017

Fantastic novel.

t
talk2terih
Oct 26, 2017

This book skillfully chronicles the psychological dysfunction of the titular character, Oliver. The author takes us past sympathy for his painful childhood to loathing for the cold, manipulative, destructive adult he becomes.

It is neither an easy nor pleasant read, but it is an instructive glimpse into the making of a psychopath and the swath of destruction one can wreak in the lives of those he leaves in his wake.

a
abcDena
Aug 25, 2017

Ripleyesque. Fantastic.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at VPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top