The story/plot in this novel was very strong. I enjoyed it for the most part though it was the structure of the novel that I felt lessened my interest in it. Overall it was very readable and enjoyable.
This book was well written and very unique. I'm glad I read it because what it was doing was certainly interesting and atypical but the content didn't really pique my interest in the same way that the organizational aspects did.
What to say about Trust, a book with so many layers and truths that in the end, readers learn that truth is not something readers can understand or define. In Trust, author Herman Diaz writes a novel that requires taking extensive notes just to try and keep all the fallacies straight in one's mind. And even after reading all those notes, it becomes clear that truth and trust are difficult conceits to explain or understand.
I have no intent or interest in offering spoilers. By the time readers finish part one, or certainly part two, many readers will understand what they think is the novel's premise. Those readers will be wrong. I was. Even at the 60% point in this novel, many readers will decide they have figured out what trust/Trust means. Some of those readers might be correct; many will be wrong. Trust, the novel, is not just clever or deceptive or multilayered to fool readers. Trust is.an exploration about perception and truth. Does the writer telling the story tell the truth? Can a storyteller be trusted? Is any narrator honest? In the last section of Trust, which might be considered the ultimate truth, there is reason to suspect that even this section is not revealing the truth.
I thank the author, Diaz, publisher Penguin Group Riverhead, and NetGalley for making this ARC so easy to access. Now that I have read Trust one time, I think I will need to read it again and again to fully grasp this novel and all it portends to say. Trust deserves multiple rereads.
Read Trust. Every reader will find something to take away from Diaz's Trust. As I reread all the pages of notes and scribbles that I jotted down while reading, I now wonder if I can trust my understanding.
This book creates a puzzle that the reader has to solve while making the point that history does not necessarily equal truth and that fact and fiction are difficult to unravel from each other. It allows the voices of two women to intrude on an era (the 1920s) and a male-centric business (finance). One part features a husband and wife in the early 1900s before the stock market crash and is written in the third person. Another part is an autobiography version of the truth written by a ghostwriter the financier hired, and finally, the deceased wife's journals. Each story has an entirely different voice. It's a brilliant structure and entertaining. If you are looking for the truth, you may never find it.
Trust takes readers on a journey through the intricate world of high finance during the 1920s and 1930s in New York City. The book is about Andrew Bevel, a fictional financier who outsmarts the market just before the fateful stock market crash of 1929. When everyone else is losing their shirt, he converts his investments into cash mere weeks before the Great Depression hit.
The book is divided into four distinct sections, some of which worked better than others. First there is a short, unflattering novel written by author Harold Vanner about an investor named Benjamin Rask and his mentally ill wife. The character is obviously based on Andrew Bevel. The second part is Bevel's partial autobiography, correcting the supposed mistakes in Vanner's fictionalized story. In part 3, readers are introduced to journalist Ida Partenze, the daughter of an exiled Italian anarchist, who Bevel hires to ghostwrite his story. Finally, the last section presents a series of journal entries by Bevel’s wife, Mildred, who is dying of cancer in a Swiss spa. Each voice is different, each truth unique, yet all threads are interrelated.
Now, allow me to vent for a moment. It’s infuriating that book reviewers, who are readers rather than fellow writers, have the gall to give this book a one-star rating. Let’s talk accolades: Booker Prize Nominee (2022), Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2023), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2022), and the Kirkus Prize for Fiction (2022). Diaz also won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2022. In my book (pun intended), those one-star ratings seem more like sabotage attempts. Someone even gave it a “1 star rounded down” rating. Seriously? Oh, and if you didn't finish the book, it is inappropriate to write a review. A DNF is a DNF. Alright, stepping off the soapbox.
I get why not everyone fell head over heels for Trust. Finance aficionados will probably revel in the story, but to others, it may be a tad dry in parts. Honestly, I wonder if some people don’t like the book because it is too brilliant, too complex. It’s the type of book that belongs on a college English Literature syllabus. Hernan Diaz first made waves with his debut novel, In the Distance, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and with Trust he took home the coveted award. He definitely has literary chops. 4 stars.
Thank you to Net Galley and the Publisher for this Advanced Readers Copy of Trust by Hernan Diaz. This was an exceptionally written book and well deserving of the Pulitzer.
This is an incredibly complicated and beautifully written novel. It's constructed from three different narratives - each with a different view into a world and it's "reality". Diaz brings interesting questions to the forefront of his readers' minds. As the title suggests, the reader trusts each narrative, or takes it at face value, only to find new meaning and perspective with the narrative and viewpoint that follows. This multi-layered approach with varied views shows each of us how life, events and history itself is skewed based on the narrator, accuracy of events, perception and the way the story is conveyed. Although I don't particularly enjoy stories about the financial world, this novel is a literary masterpiece.
The novel centers around four narrators, primarily in New York City, revisiting the birth of the stock market and it's potential profit, the Crash of 1929, and the slippery truth between two tales. With characters reminiscent in a Edith Wharton novel, TRUST is a true tour-de-force. Read-alike: TRUST EXERCISE by Susan Choi.
I really enjoyed this one! I chose it as the book club pick for my library for January. We're meeting to discuss it tomorrow but the people I've spoken to already from the book club all loved it. It's pretty much the perfect book club book because there is so much to discuss. Trust's novel within a novel model reminds me of Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assasin, a lifetime favorite.
Link below to my review of "Trust" in the Star Tribune., I really liked it and would give it 4.5 stars if half-stars were available. The only slight drawback keeping it from being a five-star rating is the rather slow second part of the novel, which comes across as dullish surrounded by the other three parts.
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC. Another Clegg agency winner and of course my nephew helps with the editing of these books. This is a classic and about money, money, money! High end literature and will be a classic read. Highly recommend!
This was an interesting look at the age of wild bets on the stock market before and after black Tuesday. I enjoyed that it had dueling narrators so that you never really knew where the truth sat.
A beautiful, fascinating book, as much about the nature of truth as it is about its purported subject of a turn of the century financial titan. The story is told from a variety of perspectives and narrative genres, with fiction more truthful than some first-person accounts.
All of which makes this sound like a remake of Rashomon, which it certainly is not. Each version of the story is perfectly written for the intended style. Themes, even specific sentences, reoccur across the different telling, and over the course of the book, the “truth” becomes more evident, more inevitable. The pleasure of reading Trust is its writing, not its structure (though that’s inventive, for sure).
This is a beautifully written, unique novel.
Many thanks to Penguin/Riverhead Books and NetGalley for the advance reader’s copy.
The four parts to this book create a puzzle that the reader has to solve. The story makes the points that history does not necessarily equal truth and that fact and fiction are difficult to unravel from each other. It allows the voices of two women to intrude on an era (the 1920's) and a business (finance) that are male-centric. I enjoyed the first section, was bewildered by the second, realized what these two sections were about in the third, and fully appreciated the entire tale in the fourth.
I loved this book. Brilliant structure, entertaining and leaving you wondering about where the truth lies. Can anyone truly be a reliable reporter? Author appears to be funny, animated, and comfortable speaking. I hope to hear him in person! Listened to audio book and loved. Then downloaded ebook to revisit in future. Brilliant.
I requested Hernan Diaz's book Trust because I'm a sucker for historical fiction set in the 1920s and being 20s New York just added icing on the cake. However, by the time I got around to this ARC, I had completely forgotten what the book was about and was honestly confused when the book entirely switched tones and narrators! After going back and reading the description and a few reviews, I realized that this book is the deconstruction of Bonds, the novel based on Benjamin and Helen Rask, an extremely wealthy yet private couple. Trust starts off with the audience reading Bonds, and the writing style is very early 20th century. In a complete tonal shift, we shift to a partially constructed autobiography depicting the 'real' Rasks, supposedly written by the 'real' Benjamin. In the final two sections we meet an elderly woman with ties to the original novel and the autobiography and we finally hear from the 'real' Helen Rask.
Formatting and writing a book like this strikes me as very ambitious and you'd have to be insanely detail oriented to keep all the sections working together and making sure that each narrator's written voice is different enough to evoke the individual characters. Diaz does this really well, the novel-within-a-novel "Bonds" is very much a product of the 20s, the narrator of the 'real' Rask part is everything you'd find with a financier, and the elderly women and Helen each have their own voice and impact on the story as a whole. While this isn't usually a book I'd read, I really enjoyed it and felt that Diaz manages to create a coherent book out of four disparate parts.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the free e-bbok.
My issue here was that I saw every turn Diaz was making from a mile away, and whatever formal daring the book proposes to produce felt like cheap chicanery to me. Diaz's prose, his uncanny knack for writing something both sepia-toned and out-of-time, is tuned well here and the story itself is not uninteresting... but I have seen everything done here done better elsewhere.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
This is a clever story about big money and how it changes lives. the story is told through four different characters each with interesting things to say. The story weaves quickly and with each step the reader wants more - right up to the unique ending, This is a perfect read for the members of our group. Plus, the author is a clear and engaging speaker.
Nearly NDF at the second retelling of the story, but stuck with it to reveal a richly layered commentary on who gets to tell history. Very well done. Recommended to readers of historical fiction and literary fiction, and maybe even mystery readers.
This is quite the book! Very engaging and well written. The whole thing pretty much blew my mind. I will need to look for others by this author!