Review: Based on a True Story, by Delphine de Vigan

based on a true story delphine de viganRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary, Mystery


Based on a True Story is the elegant story of the relationship of Delphine (the author) and a woman named only as L. throughout the novel. As Delphine deals with the writer’s block and depression after her last autobiographical book about her mother’s mental illness and eventual suicide, L. becomes very close to her. Little by little, L. starts taking over Delphine’s life, becoming her.

What an interesting book! I wouldn’t call this a thriller, this book is a slow burner, and most of the it is about the relationship of the two women, and discussions about fiction and fact, autobiography and bias.

While not exactly a literary book, it almost reads like one. Delphine de Vigan’s writing is so gorgeous, and the translation was done beautifully. I loved reading about her experiences after writing such a strong book, such a personal story, the fear and doubt. Her thoughts about fiction are so interesting. This book will fascinate people who love writing more than it will attract thriller lovers. While it reminded me of The Talented Mr. Ripley and also as Gone Girl, but it is different from both. It never made me catch my breath, or accelerated my heart. What it did was trap me into its world, it made me tense and enamored, made me cringe at every bad decision from Delphine, made me wonder about the impossibility of writing the absolute truth of one’s own story.

This book made me want to write. And, well, ask for ID, birth certificate, photographic proof and criminal record of each one of my friends.

One thought on “Review: Based on a True Story, by Delphine de Vigan

  1. Pingback: Review: Tangerine, by Christine Mangan | Naty's Bookshelf

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