Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Year of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 1503946193 (ISBN13: 9781503946194)
In the last decade of 19th century all the inhabitants of a small gold-mining town disappear in the most mysterious fashion. The town remains a mystery for historians, explorers and believers of the supernatural. The book captures ventures of such a group of explorers in 2009 who apparently have gone to unlock the mystery. But is this their only motive and what actually transpired the mystery 116 years ago? These are the primary questions answered by this engrossing thriller.
“This is hell—the absolute loss borne from all those slivers of perfection that passed unnoticed, unrelished. In true dark, there is no gauging of time.”Blake Crouch (quoted from “Abandon”
Thats the word for this book…something which starts off with dark secrets, proceeds with dark motives and ends in dark places… as a matter of fact … “Darkness” is a very vital physical character of this book and though its not a masterpiece by any means, yet Blake Crouch manages to hold the attention of the reader throughout the book; especially in the last half.
The best thing is the cohesion created between the two different eras, the late 19th century and the current times.
The premise of the book makes you believe that the book is going to be a Sci-fi thriller. the initial few chapter give feel of a Horror thriller and by the time a totally unprecedented twist hits you hard at about the mid-point, you start believing that its actually a psychological thriller. Though your perception keeps on changing about the genre of the book, yet what stays constant is the element of thrill; and that is something that remains intact throughout the book.
The best thing is the cohesion created between the two different eras, the late 19th century and the current times. Its commendable how the ending of every chapter from one era explains and provokes the proceedings of the upcoming chapter from the other era. This for me, is the USP of the book.
The explanations of all the suffering across both time zones make you cringe and feel the agony of the characters.
As for characters, and there are A LOT of them across two time-zones, some of them seem to be a bit neglected and could’ve done with a bit more depth to explain their behaviors. Especially, the amount of characters in the 19th century story makes it a bit confusing to get hold of proceedings at times and jumbles things up a bit.
Staying true to the theme of the book, Blake Crouch is spot on with the atmosphere he has created to describe “Abandon”, a perfect title for the town where the story takes place. The explanations of all the suffering across both time zones make you cringe and feel the agony of the characters. The description of THE mine, in particular, sucks the reader into the ever-prevailing darkness of the story.
There is hardly any feel-good or happy moment in the entire book. It can become depressing for some.
Something which can disturb a few readers is the fact that there is hardly any feel-good or happy moment in the entire book. It can become depressing for some. But I don’t mind this abundance of gloomy situations, as this is precisely what gives the book its eerie feel.
Blake Crouch has written better books than this, but it manages successfully to engage the reader in the proceedings and lingers on in mind even when the book is not being read. Overall, a decent read.