Release date: April 12, 2018
Publisher: Red Door
Lionel Shriver meets Mark Haddon in this break-out debut.
Despite living in the same three-flat house in the suburbs of London, the residents are strangers to one another. The bottom floor is home to Tam, a recent ex-cop who spends his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. On the middle floor is Nick, a young man with Asperger’s who likes to stick to his schedules and routines. The top floor belongs to Karen, a doctor and researcher who has spent her life trying to understand the rising rates of autism. They have lived their lives separately, until now, when an unsolved murder and the man on the middle floor connect them all together. Told from three points of view, The Man on the Middle Floor is about disconnection in all its forms; sexual, physical, parental and emotional. It questions whether society is meeting the needs of the fast growing autistic section of society, or exacerbating it.
Thought-provoking and thrilling, The Man on the Middle Floor will leave readers talking.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Man on the Middle Floor!
What an unusual book this was, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. I tried to think of a book to compare it to and am drawing a blank, so this is definitely a highly original read. I’m not even sure exactly what genre I would say it fits in to, it’s definitely mysterious but it also reads like contemporary fiction at times and there is a ton to dissect and discuss making it a great book club pick.
This follows three people who are neighbors and is told from each of their viewpoints. Tam is a police officer who is disenchanted with life in general and probably my favorite character. Nick is a young man with autism who struggles to live a “normal” life and then finally there is Karen, and quite frankly I loathed this woman. She’s self absorbed, rude and oblivious and I can’t really find any redeeming qualities about her. After a series of events happen in their home, these neighbors who have never really spoken to each other before find their lives entangled in unforeseen ways.
Not only was this an unusual read it was often hard to read, uncomfortable even. It really pushed me outside of my own personal comfort zone, but I do like that occasionally and was really interested in the characters lives and how their stories would end. There is some dark subject matter explored here, but it really isn’t a graphic or gritty read, instead it’s a deeper exploration of dark and sad issues that are sadly, all too common today. The author has an extremely strong and original voice and style of writing, if you’re looking for something different, give this a try.
The Man on the Middle Floor in three words: Unique, Thought-provoking and Discomfiting.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.