Mr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can't imagine a remotely happy life without her--yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

The detectives investigating Alice's suspicious death have plenty of personal experience with conjugal enigmas: Ward Hastroll is happily married until his wife inexplicably becomes voluntarily and militantly bedridden; and Sam Sheppard is especially sensitive to the intricacies of marital guilt and innocence, having decades before been convicted and then exonerated of the brutal murder of his wife.

Still, these men are in the business of figuring things out, even as Pepin's role in Alice's death grows ever more confounding when they link him to a highly unusual hit man called Mobius. Like the Escher drawings that inspire the computer games David designs for a living, these complex, interlocking dramas are structurally and emotionally intense, subtle, and intriguing; they brilliantly explore the warring impulses of affection and hatred, and pose a host of arresting questions. Is it possible to know anyone fully, completely ? Are murder and marriage two sides of the same coin, each endlessly recycling into the other? And what, in the end, is the truth about love?

Mesmerizing, exhilarating, and profoundly moving, Mr. Peanut is a police procedural of the soul, a poignant investigation of the relentlessly mysterious human heart--and a first novel of the highest order.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307270702
030727070X
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 25 cm.
Alternative Title: Mister Peanut.

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b
bracey
Apr 18, 2017

It was a pretty good book of three stories. It kind of feels that the stories don't join together, and in the end feels like the author just wanted to talk about an old true murder mystery. The end of the book left me confused as the plot jumps around a lot. I kind of wish the author just kept the stories separate.

r
rdw39
Mar 16, 2015

This was a surprisingly good novel. I thought the interweaving of the two main male characters was quite unique. The story held my interest & did have elements of real suspense.

ChristchurchLib Dec 09, 2013

"It''s another tale of a terrible marriage - or three. Having imagined his beloved wife's death in many ways (you name it, he probably thought of it), video game designer David is eventually charged with killing her after she dies from anaphylactic shock (she's allergic to peanuts). But the New York investigators dealing with David have their own experiences with marital problems and murder. A "Möbius strip of a novel" (Kirkus Reviews), Mr. Peanut also features a quite-possibly-unreliable narrator, but its central theme focuses on the ways that marriages fail." Thrillers and Suspense December 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=709589

portmanteau Sep 02, 2012

A disturbing metamystery. David Pepin is a computer gaming mogul who may or may not have murdered his wife, Alice, via anaphlactic shock. Mr. Peanut delves into the recesses of relationships, asking us to question what we're capable of, and if love is inextricably doomed to die.

eatlizzardsdaily Jun 20, 2012

Mr. Peanut is not typically the kind of book that finds its way onto my "To Read" list. I had read many positive reviews on several trusted websites and the premise intrigued me.
The story follows two men, David Pepin, who is accused of killing his wife and Sam Sheppard the detective assigned to investigate David's case.The story examines their marriages and the parallels and differences that create such unique individuals and such dramatic relationship dynamics. I repeatedly found myself getting introspective while reading this book and was constantly thankful for the relationship I have with my husband.

With the divorce rate having climbed to 45 - 50% of marriages (that's right I just Googled it), it wasn't a stretch reading the fantastical and absurd details about each of these couples' marriages. While I'm sure every person in a marriage occassionally wonders "What if I hadn't gotten married? "& "How could things be different?"; these couples take regrets and marriage misnomers to a whole new level.

During parts on the book I became depressed, shocked and downright flabbergasted; but it never lost my interest and it gave me an incredible feeling of self worth to know that Nick and I have survived the odds. A different read, but definitely one that brought my own life and relationship into perspective.

A lot of sex, swearing and violence.

stpollock Mar 27, 2012

Mr. Peanut is a brilliant disappointment. Mr. Ross spent 13 years writing the novel, and I think he lost control of the plot about halfway in. That's too bad, because a profound meditation on marriage is hidden within the post-modern bloat. Perhaps a sympathetic editor could have salvaged it.

d
DeltaQueen50
Oct 15, 2011

Mr. Peanut is a deceptive piece of work, on the one hand we are reading a domestic drama of a wife, Alice Pepin, dying from an allergic reaction to peanuts. But did this wife commit suicide or were the peanuts forced into her mouth and rammed down her throat by her husband? The two police detectives must work this out, but they also have domestic issues of their own. One, Ward Hastroll, has a wife that has taken herself to bed and left him to figure out why and how to get her back up again. The other detective is Sam Sheppard, yes, the Sheppard of the famous murder case. The author, Adam Ross, details this murder for our consideration - Did he do it or was he just another victim?

And what about Alice’s husband, David? He appears to be deeply in love with his wife, yet he often dreams up different ways to kill her. Is this a normal preoccupation of most married men, or is he deeply disturbed and about to act upon his fantasy? More questions than answers arise with each turned page. What about the private investigator, Mr. Mobius, hired by David, but apparently working his own agenda. Lastly what about David’s book, who does write the ending?

A interesting concept, this dark look at marriage raises many questions to ponder upon . Does love always come with a flip side of hate? Do we ever really know our mates? How can we ever fit together when women are intuitive, always seeing various shades of grey, whereas men are more pragmatic, seeing black and white with very little in between.

I can’t say I loved this book, I found it an uncomfortable read, yet I do believe Mr. Peanut is a book that will stay with me due to the riveting way the author presents his dark and disturbing subject matter. Squirm inducing yet gripping.

s
SMLibrary
May 28, 2011

Read it in a weekend! Lives are crazy, people are deep and dark and moody and intense; this book keeps you hooked 'til the last page.

wwgg Apr 09, 2011

NYT 100 Notable Books of 2010

s
Saharden
Jan 08, 2011

I got tired of this book and gave up. It wasn't too bad until it veered off into Sam Sheppard's story. Perhaps I didn't like it because I was reading on my nook and couldn't page forward easily

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