10 Words of Wisdom from Harry Quebert

Chapter 31: In The Caverns of Memory

“The first chapter, Marcus, is essential. If the readers don’t like it, they won’t read the rest of your book.”

And so beings The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a novel about the relationship between a young writer and an old writer. The young writer is suffering from writer’s block, and as the story begins, Marcus Goldman recalls the advice his professor, mentor and friend Harry Quebert has shared with him throughout the years.

Chapter 30: Marcus The Magnificent

“Your second chapter is very important, Marcus. It has to be incisive, hard-hitting.”

Like Harry Quebert suggests, the second chapter is hard-hitting, as the body of a young girl who went missing over 30 years ago is found in Harry Quebert’s yard. He is immediately charged with her murder. Marcus, convinced of Harry’s innocence, rushes to Somerset to save his friend.

But solving the case and penning a new bestseller soon blur together, and Marcus continues to recall the advice of the famous author as he reveals the truth behind The Harry Quebert Affair. Counting down from 31, each chapter begins with a piece of advice from Harry to Marcus about writing, and we’ve shared our favourites below.

 Chapter 27: Where the Hydrangeas Were Planted

“Anytime you have doubts about what you’re doing, go outside and run. Run until you can’t run anymore. Run until you feel that fierce desire to win being born within you.”

Chapter 26: N-O-L-A

“The reason writers are such fragile beings, Marcus, is that they suffer from two sorts of emotional pain, which is twice as much as the normal human being: the heartache of love and the heartache of books. Writing a book is like loving someone. It can be very painful.”

Chapter 22: Police Investigation

“The writer’s disease isn’t an inability to write anymore: it’s being incapable of stopping.”

Chapter 16: The Origin of Evil

“Harry, how long does it take to write a book?” “That depends.” “On what?” “On everything.”

Chapter 13: The Storm

“You must keep control of the situation at all times. It is disastrous to lose control of your own book.”

Chapter 10: In Search of a Fifteen-Year-Old Girl

“Writing means being able to feel things more strongly than other people do and communicate those feelings. Writing means allowing your readers to see things they sometimes can’t see… if every writer had to limit his writing to his own experiences, literature would be impoverished and would lose all its meaning.”

Chapter 4: Sweet Home Alabama

“When you get to the end of the book, Marcus, give your reader a last-minute twist… you have to hold a few trump cards for the final part of the game.”

Chapter 1: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

“The last chapter of a book, Marcus, should always be the best.”

Intrigued? The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker is a brilliantly intricate murder mystery; an ode to books (and the men and women who write them); and a tale of both unrequited and star-crossed love.

Add The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair to your #50BookPledge To Read shelf now! Trust me, readers: despite it’s 600-page count, you’ll get through this story in one weekend and be talking about it all summer.


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Digital Marketing Coordinator at HarperCollins Canada. Film, fiction and fashion blog enthusiast. Follow me on twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.

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