A Red Herring: Background information when reading The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

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The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

A Novel

by Joel Dicker

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker
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  • First Published:
    May 2014, 656 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2014, 656 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Megan Shaffer

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
A Red Herring

A large part of the fun in reading The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is in Joel Dicker's use of red herrings. A "red herring" is a literary device that is used to keep one from reaching the correct conclusion, or to divert the reader's attention from the more important details. Quebert's plot is full of them, crafted to make each character suspect and to send the reader in a different direction at every turn. Incidentally, a MacGuffin is a particular type of red herring.

Red Herring What is an actual red herring? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines red herring as a noun that is 1: a herring cured by salting and slow smoking to a dark brown color, and 2: [from the practice of drawing a red herring across a trail to confuse hunting dogs]; something that distracts from the real issue

Herring, a small, pungent, oily fish, is often consumed after being heavily smoked; it turns a reddish color when cured. A kipper is a whole herring that has been sliced in half from head to tail, ...

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