“When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.”
Wow, I loved this book! This story has such a unique point-of-view because it follows the “bad guy,” and the reader is privy to his inner-monologue instead of the victim’s. While Joe does things that are obviously wrong, I couldn’t help but to agree with some of his opinions and laugh at his sense of humor.
It’s clear from the very beginning that Joe has mental issues, but it becomes more obvious later on that he’s likely struggling from something along the lines of Manic Depressive Disorder, as well as many other issues. This makes him even more of a sympathetic character because we get a bit of an understanding as to why he does what he does.
We get glimpses into Joe’s past and he obviously had a troubled childhood, an unusual upbringing, and previous obsessions with women. This left me wanting to know more about what made Joe who he is, but at the same time, the fact that it was left so vague made him even more creepy.
The woman that he stalks is a flawed person and isn’t very likable, which adds another unconventional aspect to the story — we don’t pity the victim very much. In fact, none of the characters are very likable — it seems that this would make the story less enjoyable, yet I found it even more gripping.