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Ill Will named one of the 10 Best Books of 2017 by Publishers Weekly

November 6, 2017

BBC on Ill Will

March 16, 2017

Imagine the shower scene in Psycho, extended across eleven sections and three decades, with multiple unsolved mysteries. That’s the level of intensity Chaon achieves in this dark, provocative thriller. –

An Interview with Kirkus Reviews

March 15, 2017

“We can believe ourselves into these incredible feats of self-deception,” Chaon says. “Just that idea of somebody who’s basically decent, but also doomed by their own lack of self-awareness. I think that’s something that’s very terrifying because I think all of us are kind of afraid that we’re not as self-aware as we’d like to be.”

An Interview with Poets and Writers Magazine

March 15, 2017

“Finding a way out of the maze”

Ill Will Review from Dallas Morning News

March 15, 2017

A welcome change from mainstream thriller writing — too few writers prize atmosphere as much as narrative tautness. With Ill Will, Chaon succeeds at delivering both.

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Ill Will reviewed in Chicago Tribune

March 15, 2017

A ranking master among neo-pulp stylists (his 2001 story collection, “Among the Missing,” was a finalist for the National Book Award), Chaon adds to the book’s disorienting effects by playing with the physical text. Some chapters take the form of parallel columns, two or three to a page. White spaces and uneven alignments push words, sentences — and thoughts — apart. Dustin’s utterances frequently are unpunctuated, true to his tendency to drift off before completing a thought.

While such touches underscore the author’s playful approach, the writerly stagecraft keeps the reader off guard and sometimes on edge, in a kind of altered cognitive state. There’s a lot going on under the surface of “Ill Will” — more than one reading will reveal. Going back and reading this oddly compelling book again will only provide more pleasure.

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Ill Will reviewed in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

March 15, 2017

“the most disturbing novel I’ve ever read.”

ILL WILL Soundtrack on Largehearted Boy!

March 15, 2017

Music that inspired Ill Will

Review of ILL WILL in National Post

March 15, 2017

Dan Chaon’s Ill Will follows a broken man as his life takes another sharp turn into the darkness

Were Ill Will only a skilled dismembering of a man’s self-image in pursuit of deeper truths, it would be impressive enough, but there’s so much more going on. To Chaon’s credit, Ill Will actually contains answers to its central mysteries – the death of Tillman’s family and the contemporary deaths – as well as resolutions to its central conflicts and questions – including Tillman’s relationships with Russell and Aaron – but these answers and resolutions are ultimately as unsettling as the mysteries and questions themselves. Ill Will serves as a vivid reminder of the sheer power of story, the force by which we shape our lives, and which can also tear them down.

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Review of ILL WILL in Los Angeles Times

March 15, 2017

Chaon is one of America’s best and most dependable writers, and in the end, “Ill Will” is a ruthlessly “realistic” piece of fiction about the unrealistic beliefs people entertain about their world. Reminiscent of the darkest psychological thrillers, such as George Sluizer’s film “The Vanishing” or the convoluted, unreliably narrated novels “The Horned Man” by James Lasdun and “Spider” by Patrick McGrath, it is ultimately a wider, less personality-bound story than any of those.

The problem of our world, Chaon seems to argue, is not simply that individuals tell themselves stories they shouldn’t believe, but rather that everyone is constantly telling themselves (and everybody else) unbelievable stories all the time. And amid the looping freeway interchanges of storytelling, the exit signs are often impossible to find.

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