[553]: I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

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I Saw a Man / Owen Sheers


Every time I tackle a literary fiction, I’m thrust into an unfamiliar world where no one does the expected. It’s surreal, and yet it’s as real as it can get. The people behave the way you don’t expect them to. The stories more often leave me reeling, and yet, it’s exactly how it happens in the real world. This book in particular, had me questioning if I would’ve done exactly what they did had I been in their situation.

The novel started unassumingly enough. Michael walked into his neighbour’s house with the intention of picking up a screw driver that he lent to Josh. The doors were unlocked, which surprised him considering the house seemed to be empty of its inhabitants. During the course of his search for the screwdriver, the narrator tells the sequence of events that forever linked Michael’s life to the Nelsons’. With it, is the story of how his wife was killed, and the man responsible for her death. The novel is like a jigsaw puzzle. A mystery told sparingly, but with a tension you can cut through with a knife. The suspense is frustrating; infuriating, even. The novel take its time to reveal its true colours. The summary doesn’t offer much, but the brilliance of this novel was the painstakingly slow reveal of every thing that makes it so addictive. It is that tension that persists throughout the majority of the book. But just when Sheers decided the readers have had enough, he forces us to see exactly how cruel “if only” scenarios could be. A pointless exercise that only lend to more frustration to the reader.

This novel is a close examination of  guilt and grief. A potent, debilitating combination for the weak.  Josh and Michael share a secret that if revealed, could very well ruin the lives of all the people involved. In this case, the novel looks at who most benefits a confession. Will the truth really set anyone free?  Or would it just be another form of prison sentence for the guilty party? In the end, both Josh and Michael will be left with very little choice but to own their  shares of the blame. Which is oddly satisfying for a non-resolution ending.


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Bond Street Books | June 9th, 2015 Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


  • It seems like this book is definitely one that has you thinking for a long time after it, and trying to picture yourself in their situation. Oh man, it sounds wonderful. I am glad you loved it so much!

  • Not at all sure if I would like this with an open ending. I am a big suspense fan so I will think a bit on it. Great review!

  • I’m a massive fan of slow burn mysteries. MASSIVE! Any book that explores decision and consequence is always deliciously complex, it adds that bit of will he or wont he to liven up a contemporary. And it helps that the cover is stunning too! Stop convincing me to buy more books, you evil woman 😀 Fabulous review Joy! <3

    • This one might just be right up your alley. And whoops. Don’t give it to peer pressure so easily! Lol. <3

  • That is a gorgeous photo, sigh. And pretty cover too 😀 Sounds like an interesting book. I just could never read it, lol. But so glad you did 😀 And that you enjoyed it lots too 😀 You are awesome. <3

  • That cover is really interesting, and it sounds like the story is even more so. I like the sound of the mystery and concept, but open endings KILL me, unless it really works for the book, which is sounds like it does.

    • This one oddly worked out. I think the author took it as far as it can go.

  • Wow… this sounds like a pretty deep read Joy. Glad you liked it.

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  • That sounds so engaging and emotional! The cover is cool, too.

    PS: Bloglovin’ no longer has my blog on their site (why, I have no idea. I’ve sent two e-mails with no reply.), so I’m working on that issue!

    • Oh boo. What is going on with Bloglovin’?! Bah. Never fear, I shall visit you, anyway. 🙂

  • RO

    Like Braine, I like to have a good ending, but the book itself sounds so good that it could be made into a movie! Love your review. hugs…

    • His writing made it so that the readers can easily picture what was happening in the book. It’s my first time reading any book by Sheers, and I have to say, it’s got me curious about his other work as well.

  • I don’t think I’ll be as satisfied as you are with the ending. I need closure on books like this especially with the what-ifs? Gah!

    • It’s tough, but at the same time, I think I’m satisfied with the ending. I don’t think the story could go any further than it did, to be honest.

  • The examination of guilt and grief sounds moving, but the non resolution seems very frustrating

    • It might sound a bit frustrating on the surface, but I think that story already went where it needed to go. In the end, all is right in the world.

  • I’m not sure I could handle the non-resolution ending, honestly. It does sound very interesting though. And I really like the cover. Great review, Joy! 🙂

    • Oddly, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. Thanks, Lisa!

  • ALWAYS enjoy admiring your photos Joy. They’re always so pretty to look at. 🙂 I love the sound of this book. The mystery, the characters, all add of for a great read so I’m glad you liked it! It sounds like I had just that thriller aspect I need in my life right now. 😉

    • Aw. Thanks, hun. <3 It was a great read. I tend to find interesting reads in adult fiction. 🙂

  • This sounds like a book that plays like a movie in your head. For some reason, when he found the door unlocked and continued to look for the screw driver, I find it strange. But I guess, it’s the recipe that fed the plot. 😉

    • Right? And Owen Sheers definitely had that kind of writing talent that makes you see it as plainly as you would watching a movie.

  • sounds amazing!!

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Color me intrigued Joy! This sounds like an exceptional read, I love books that make you ask questions – particularly questions as to whether or not the truth would be a benefit or detriment to the characters. Absolutely gorgeous review!

  • That is an interesting cover and I think the way the story is told is very creative, buuut I don’t think I could handle the non-resolution. I always need some kind of resolution with books.
    I’m glad this was a success for you though, Joy!
    Lovely review!

    • I tend to have more patience with adult fiction, oddly. While the seemingly un-ended ending may be frustrating on some days, this one actually worked with the novel as a whole. 🙂

  • Non-resulting ending was usually a hit or miss in my reading history. One of my favs books has it. This book sounds really intriguing and thought-provoking. Glad it was a winner! 🙂

  • This sounds well structured and intriguing. I don’t mind an ambiguous ending at all.

    • You might like this one, Cathy. And you might give this book a bit more justice than I could ever do. <3

  • kindlemom1

    This does sound really intriguing but I’m wondering is that non-ending would kill me! I love how this sounds though I really do and am so tempted to pick it up!

    • Oh you’ll be fine. It’s really a non-issue. 🙂

  • Sounds really interesting! I’m not sure if I will read it, I like my fantasy and paranormal. Great review as always. 🙂

    • Thanks, Catherine. Once in a while, I’d like to try my hand at an honest -to-goodness fantasy novel. 🙂

  • I think…not the book for me