You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames


This may feel like a short novella but I found that it was fantastically well written from start to finish. The sparse, efficient use of language is so different from anything that I’ve read before but yet it still manages to get the themes and tones across without any problems. The central character of Joe is described in such a way to keep him interesting but not in so much detail that he doesn’t maintain some mystery.

At only 92 easy to read pages it passes quickly and, having seen the film already, it all fits in so well. From reading this I can now see how and why they wanted to adapt this.

You Were Never Really Here is a tight, tense noir with added violence and a damaged protagonist written in a wonderfully efficient style. What’s not to like?

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