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Literary Glance: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

January 18, 2018

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn has a lot of advantages over other books right now.  First of all, reviewers/publicists are going out of their way to compare this novel to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.  Maybe this makes sense.  All three titles mention females and suggest that the protagonist or central character will be a female.  All three books are mystery/thrillers.

If enough reviewers/publicists compare a novel to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, then that book is guaranteed to start off as a bestseller.  It might not stay there for long, but it will start there.

Next, Stephen King has called the book unputdownable.  I’m not sure unputdownable is a word, but it’s a positive fake word, and having a positive new fake word created by Stephen King to describe your book is a great start.

Stephen King is not the only famous author to write something nice.  The publishers of The Woman in the Window have gotten a bunch of big name authors to hype this book.

According to the book cover, Gillian Flynn calls The Woman in the Window “Astounding.  Thrilling.  Amazing.”

Ruth Ware writes: “Hitchcock would have snapped up the rights in a heartbeat.”

Louise Penny writes: A tour de force.  A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality.  An absolutely gripping thriller.”

I could give more examples, but I think I’ve made my point, and I don’t want to be accused of overkill.

I started reading The Woman in the Window before I was aware of the hype (I just grab the new books and go; I don’t even read the book jackets anymore), and when I saw all the reviews later, I was a bit surprised.  Astounding?  Gripping?  Unputdownable?

I’m not sure The Woman in the Window is unputdownable.  It’s alright.  There’s a lot of name dropping about old movies and references to stuff I don’t know much about.  I get the film noir references, but home décor is not my thing.  When I read The Woman in the Window, I thought it was trying too hard to pay homage to film noir.  I thought a little more subtlety would have been better.

But I guess I was wrong.  Whose opinion are you going to listen to?  Mine?  Or Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Ruth Ware’s?

I have to give author A.J. Finn credit; it’s tough for a male author to write from a female character’s point of view without messing something up, but from what I’ve read so far the author is doing a good job.

I wouldn’t have known that A.J. Finn was a dude if I hadn’t accidentally stumbled upon that information.  I don’t think he writes anything that obviously gives away his gender.  Anna Fox, the central character, never scratches herself while watching old movies, and she doesn’t train her dog how to fetch beers from the fridge.

I’m glad I started reading The Woman in the Window before I was aware of the hype.  If I had seen all the reviews ahead of time, I would have naturally had a negative bias against it.  That’s just how I am.  I admit it.  Maybe the twists and turns that reviewers talk about make the novel better in the middle and end than at the beginning.  But Stephen King called it unputdownable.

That’s okay.  The Woman in the Window is still going to make a ton of money, even if I don’t think it’s quite astounding, gripping, and unputdownable so far.


What do you think?  Have you read The Woman in the Window?  Is it truly unputdownable?  If a book is super-hyped, are you more likely or less likely to read it?

  1. Less. To wit, Harry Potter.

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