Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver #BookReview

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When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

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5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars_1457015465_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_1457015858_81_246_96_2

I’m feeling very torn about this novel and the rating I gave might very well change in the future because Nothing Important Happened Today is a novel I really need to reread at a later date. I believe I’d appreciate the plotline much more and give it a a much higher rating now that I know where the story is actually going and what the author is showing throughout the story. I read this novel like I’m used to and I had the same expectations as always and that’s where I hit the wall.

I like dark novels normally, the darker the better if you want my opinion and even though this novel involves the quite brutal act of several people committing suicide, I didn’t feel as unsettled as I thought it would make me feel. Mystified yes, more than a little, intrigued also but not really deeply affected or dare I even say it, sad. What is wrong with me? Well I can only say it was the writing style of the novel that wasn’t really working for me. It was far too detached and didn’t let me get to know the inner thoughts of the characters involved. I wanted to understand how they would get to that point of jumping off a ledge without a second thought, I wanted to feel the deterioration of their emotional state but I simply didn’t get it. I felt confused and a little bit bored by these people, the lovers, the nobodies, even Levant, the one the spotlight shines on when he hangs from that bridge. Each one of them had a reason but that reason was so hard to subscribe to, and it didn’t make sense at all that they didn’t know each other and yet they were there together for their final moments. Oh and throughout the novel the author also throws in some instructions on how to grow a cult and get a natural following too which was fascinating to read about but it was equally hard to correlate that to those people involved.

I don’t want to put anyone off reading this novel, quite the opposite really. I absolutely love the author’s idea for the novel, it’s brilliant BUT the fact remains that I couldn’t get into it when I was reading it, so if you are planning to read it, then you must not seek that connection to the characters so desperately like I was. Unfortunately I have the patience of a young pup too so at a certain point I skipped to the near end. I know that’s totally not done so let’s just forget I did that, ok? Anyway, it was in those final pages that I finally understood the whole picture and realised the way I should have looked at those sections with the jumpers. I should have given the author more credit from the start and I can only say I kind of messed it up for myself. I’m hoping for a second chance with this novel soon though so that I can share a whole other review then. If there’s one thing to conclude about Nothing Important Happened Today it’s that it’s completely different from anything you’ve read before!

I received a copy of this novel from the sweetest blogfriend I know. This is still my honest opinion.


18 thoughts on “Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver #BookReview

  1. Great review, Inge! I was totally blow away by this book, but I understand what you’re saying. The emotional detachment is exactly the point I think, and I cottoned on to that from the start, but I see how that may be a breaking point. I hope you get to revisit it, and enjoy it more the second time around.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Based on other reviews, I actually thought this one would appeal to me. Now I’m not so sure. Like you, I want to connect to the characters and find it difficult to properly engage if that part is missing. Having said that, a strong plot / concept can make up for the emotional detachment. Great review Inge, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it more, perhaps it will benefit from a reread at a later stage.

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  3. I know a lot of people like and read Will Carver, I haven’t read any of his books yet. But this one? I might skip anyway. I really, really don’t want to read about suicide, however it’s framed. I lost 2 good friends to suicide, and this sounds like it’s almost glamorising it.

    Thanks for the insightful review, as always, Inge, you get right to the heart of what works and what doesn’t with your review.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you lost 2 friends this way.
      I wouldn’t say the novel is glamorising but on the other hand it doesn’t get really into it either. It’s neither here nor there. There is a reasoning behind it but I didn’t get that at all when reading. I do realise it’s a very sensitive theme but it didn’t hurt me, because it was this detached. Thank you for appreciating my review!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe glamorize isn’t the right word to use, but when writers talk about people committing suicide like this, in a group, with strangers, I wonder if they have any idea about the hurt suicide causes so many people. And find this kind of theme, however detached, a little insensitive.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand Alex. I appreciate though that it’s not something you find out when you’re already reading it (I read books about rape or abuse when I wasn’t expected it in the novel) since it’s already clearly on the cover. Anyway, just skip this one lovely, there are so many other books!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your review. Weirdly, the detachment did it for me, it made me crave for more, and made it easier for me to read about those people’s fate. Nothing’s wrong with you!!! xD I think you wanted to connect with the characters, but Will’s goal was to keep the reader from becoming too attached, and instead focus on what he was exploring. xxx

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