I really don’t know what to say about this one. It’s difficult to sum it up but if I don’t do it now, I never will. Have you ever read a story that has you so confused but on the edge of your seat and completely freaked out the whole way through; only to be absolutely anticlimactic at then end? I most certainly have.
Bunker, a novel by Andrea Maria Schenkel, was something I had found whilst recently at a book warehouse. Having never heard of it before I read the back, and the first sentence, thought, “this seems quite interesting, plus 70% off, why don’t I get it?”
Although it’s not my number one genre, I really like crime/thriller type novels. This one never appealed to me though. I found the set up very confusing as there was too much being told in too short an amount of time. The more I read, the more confused I got. I realise this book is a translation from German but I’m not sure that’s the problem.
I’ll be honest, I did like the way it was told from two perspectives -the abductee and the abductor – and how it also had another narrative perspective that is unknown and I assume you make up your own mind about who/what it was at the end.
Despite this dual/triple perspective aspect, I didn’t really find myself relating to either of the main characters. I found their personalities quite dull. I get that they were in a difficult situation but that could have brought certain character traits to the novel. This didn’t really happen though, so I felt like I was missing something with them. Especially as they had no connection with each other.
The events were very sick and twisted, but not in a tense way, more like a “why would you write about this” kind of thing (think human centipede). For example, when the woman who has been abducted invites her boss round to “the mill” which houses said “bunker”, the man who has abducted her kills the boss against his own will because she thinks her boss is raping her. During this I was just thinking, “what the hell is going on?”
It is so confusing and I know I said I liked the idea of a two perspective (kind of three) narrative, as there was no specific way of realising whose perspective it was, it was so hard to keep up and I felt like the book was going 100x faster than it should have.
Jane Jakeman from The Independent said it was “nerve-shatteringly realistic” and another said it was “chilling, claustrophobic” I would definitely agree with the second one. Especially since I normally read in bed at night, I felt trapped reading this. Also it was far from realistic!
Overall I feel kind of disappointed, this book could have been gripping with Monika becoming attached to her kidnapper (I’m thinking Stockholm syndrome) but, for me, the book lacked depth like that. This book is a bit of a jumbled mess, it’s confusing and it tries to cover too much in too short a time. A disappointing read for me, and definitely not worth the confusion it caused.
Have you read any books like this?