Berlin Syndrome

Melanie Joosten. Scribe, $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-922070-36-4
Australian architectural photographer Clare, the heroine of Australian author Joosten’s claustrophobic, carefully crafted first novel, accepts charming English teacher Andi’s offer of a night in his Berlin apartment, then finds herself locked there indefinitely, until, as Andi tells her, “in time you will understand.... You will want to stay.” Joosten offers just enough of the panoramic and stark beauty of the city to emphasize Clare’s isolation, and effectively communicates the development of Clare’s confused attachment to her captor, while presenting Andi’s deluded self-perception of himself as normal. But she stops short of letting Clare’s thoughts become disordered enough to throw the reader off-balance, as the conceit of the plot demands. As a result, the story sometimes feels timidly depressing where it could have been forthrightly nightmarish. This becomes most evident in the anticlimactic ending, in which the consequences of Clare’s final move play out offstage. A film based on this thriller is due for U.S. release this summer. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/24/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-921942-05-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-921844-14-0
Ebook - 257 pages - 978-1-921863-25-7
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