Odd’s End is, surprisingly, not the first disappointing novel from Tim Wynne-Jones that I’ve picked up in the last three months. You’d think I would have learned my lesson!
Here’s the thing: I can’t resist browsing a bookshelf, even if it’s in my (semi-sketchy) apartment building laundry room and full of books that are free for a reason which is that they were published in the eighties and no one wants them, which is, again, for good reason.
Part of the allure of Odd’s End (brief premise: stalker attempts to drive happy, artsy couple out of their happy, artsy, rambling, old, and possibly haunted house) was the idea that Tim Wynne-Jones tried writing a thriller, when all the books I’ve loved from him over the years have been definitively YA novels. Here’s a piece of advice: when a beloved author steps out of their tried and true genre, it can either go very right or very wrong – and you should probably steel yourself for the eventuality that it will go wrong. Here’s another piece of advice: don’t take books from your laundry room community book shelf unless they’re tried and true. And here’s a final piece of advice: give this novel a hard, hard pass.