Category Archives: Tobias Hill

Underground – Tobias Hill

I think any book after ‘Everything Is Sinister’ was going to be something hard to follow. While I am still reading (slowly to totally enjoy the book) ‘The Mitford’s Letters Between Six Sisters’ I wanted another dark book, and Tobias Hill’s debut ‘Underground’ seemed the perfect choice a tale of the London Underground, the disused stations and a murderer who is pushing women under trains. It sounded grim, dark and a real page turner. Not quite so.

Tobias Hill has a great writing style and had I been in the mood for a tale that did indeed have a sort of mystery in the tunnels of the London Underground but was much more about a young mans childhood in Poland then this would have been a great read, I wanted a thriller, I wanted crime and sadly I didn’t really get it. In Hill’s favour I have to say that the suspense of the climax of the whole book was brilliant, sadly it just came 200 pages late. This is not a bad book, but thanks to its publishers it’s a misleading book.

There is not a string of murders, there are two pushes and that’s that. Casimir is a worker on the underground who randomly falls for a girl who he sees on the tube and then finds lives in a disused station and just happens to like him back and want top have sex with him after meeting him for 50 minutes or so. Riiiiiiiiiggggghhhtttt. How is she connected to the killings is she the killer? I think these were the questions I was meant to ask however I just thought ‘what?’ and then got very bored with her and him. The alternating chapters were the tale of Casimir’s childhood in Poland, this was more interesting but not what I wanted from a book, if I had this would have been the redeeming factor of the book.

This book is the perfect book to point out the issue I have with some books blurbs, especially when they lie. This is another case of the blurb mot telling the truth, its not the books fault, its not the authors fault and yet it makes me annoyed and puts me off both, why don’t publishers tell the truth? For example this blurb was “On the London Underground, someone is pushing women under trains. In his search for the killer, Casimir, a Tube worker, is led even deeper into a labyrinth of long-forgotten passages and deep shelters – and into the terrible secrets of his own childhood.”

I will highlight in italics what they should have added “On the London Underground, someone is pushing women under trains (well someone seems to have been pushed and then someone else does it’s a bit vague). In his search for the killer (well in accidentally hearing and seeing things he shouldn’t and then becoming slightly obsessed), Casimir, a Tube worker, is led (well once or twice) even deeper into a labyrinth of long-forgotten passages and deep shelters (and also becomes obsessed with a girl he randomly sees on a tube and then finds coincidentally lives in a disused station where she is only too happy to sleep with him after very few introductions)– and into the terrible secrets of his own childhood (which dominates the book and should actually be the main theme of the blurb.”

A shame, the right blurb which would have lead to the right timing and right mid set I think I could have really liked this book.

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Filed under Faber & Faber, Review, Tobias Hill