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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.




Interview with Edan Lepucki @ The Millions

March 15, 2017

Whole Lives Are Dedicated to Not Thinking About Something.


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Ill Will in Newsweek

March 15, 2017

“One of the best thrillers I’ve encountered in a very, very long time, Dan Chaon’s latest novel will chill you to the bone and keep you guessing at every turn.”—Newsweek




Ill Will Reviewed by The Washington Post

March 15, 2017

The scariest novel of the year!–Ron Charles




Ill Will Reviewed by Entertainment Weekly

March 15, 2017

“Reading a truly terrifying novel can make you feel like your’e drowning: As much as you may want to surface and catch your breath, the plot holds you in its grip….As Chaon moves nimbly between viewpoints, calling memories and relationships into question, a powerful undercurrent of dread begins to form beneath the story, slowly but inexorably pulling you under.”—Entertainment Weekly




Boston Globe Review of ILL WILL

March 15, 2017

“Chaon’s powers of description are impressive…His knack for leaving sentences tellingly unfinished and thoughts menacingly incomplete is perfect. If you’re up for being caught in a seamy heartland underbelly of fear, superstition, and paranoia, with side excursions through urban legend and recovered-memory hysteria, Ill Will is your book.”—Boston Globe


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Ill Will reviewed in Wall Street Journal

March 15, 2017

“Following writers like Richard Matheson and Shirley Jackson, Dan Chaon writes in the spooky tradition of suburban gothic… [O]utstanding…. Chaon’s writing is cool and precise, but his story is thrillingly unstable. It also boasts, at the end, a traditional horror-novel payoff I didn’t see coming—Stephen King couldn’t have done it better. But the power of Ill Will is in its atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. Its eerily persuasive idea that we can’t trust our own minds left me with a shiver of.”—Wall Street Journal




Ill Will excerpt

March 15, 2017

ILL WILL




March 1, 2017



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