The Double Bind

The Double Bind

A Novel

Large Print - 2007
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Throughout his career, Chris Bohjalian has earned a reputation for writing novels that examine some of the most important issues of our time. With Midwives, he explored the literal and metaphoric place of birth in our culture. In The Buffalo Soldier, he introduced us to one of contemporary literature's most beloved foster children. And in Before You Know Kindness, he plumbed animal rights, gun control, and what it means to be a parent.
Chris Bohjalian's riveting fiction keeps us awake deep into the night. As The New York Times has said, Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian's grace and power. Now he is back with an ambitious new novel that travels between Jay Gatsby's Long Island and rural New England, between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century.
When college sophomore Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont's back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography and begins to work at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won't let anyone see. When Bobbie dies suddenly, Laurel discovers that he was telling the truth: before he was homeless, Bobbie Crocker was a successful photographer who had indeed worked with such legends as Chuck Berry, Robert Frost, and Eartha Kitt.
As Laurel's fascination with Bobbie's former life begins to merge into obsession, she becomes convinced that some of his photographs reveal a deeply hidden, dark family secret. Her search for the truth will lead her further from her old life--and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her.
In this spellbinding literary thriller, rich with complex and compelling characters--including Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan--Chris Bohjalian takes readers on his most intriguing, most haunting, and most unforgettable journey yet. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, 2007.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780739327623
Characteristics: xii, 629 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 21, 2019

This book had an almost dreamy quality to it, and sorting out all its pieces has led me to read it three times so far (I am not sure I am finished). The unreliable narrator is a social worker who was attacked while riding her bicycle in the rural New England countryside. She may or may not be suffering from paranoia, and she may or may not have suffered an exceptionally brutal assault. The dead homeless man and the box of photographs he leaves behind leads her down a rabbit hole of investigation and maybe psychosis. Said client might or might not have had a part in her attack. Teasing out fact from fiction is the reader's assignment, and it is fascinating work! I recommend the book to attentive readers who like a good plot twist or two.

Dec 07, 2015

I really liked this book. The story progresses as if The Great Gatsby had actually been a work of non-fiction. The Bobbie Crocker character is the heart of the story even though he is dead. The character was based on an actual homeless man named Bob “Soupy” Campbell who left behind some amazing photographs which can be seen throughout the book as well as at the author’s website. Some reviewers didn’t like the ending and I have mixed feelings about it, but it made sense and explained Laurel’s obsession over the photographs.
Available in large print, standard print, e-book and audio

bosco714 Apr 15, 2013

I thought this was well written and had a very good twist ending.

Aug 12, 2012

Great read! Absolutely loved it! want to read it again along with The Great Gatsby (again) since the narratives overlap. Yes, definitely recommend reading that one and then Gatsby, or vice versa. Enjoy!

Aug 09, 2012

Very interesting yet slightly disturbing.

carrilis May 08, 2011

You will want to read The Great Gatsby again after you read this! I love how Bohjalian weaves Gatsby into this story! This is one of his better books.

dsbooks Apr 27, 2011

I like reading books with a connection to history. I thought this was interesting.

Mar 06, 2010

I found the ending to be disappointing, I would almost call it a cop out ending especially because I was intrigued throughout the book. There were too many characters and even though some of it makes sense by the end. I felt there were still many loose ends and unanswered questions or answers that didn't make sense. It almost felt unfinished and the ending left me feeling disappointed and upset. I was not familiar with Chris Bohjalian, this book did not turn me into a fan.

Oct 10, 2009

Wow. What a fabulous book!


Add a Summary
Aug 07, 2012

During college Laurel is attacked by masked men and barely survives. Later she is working as a social worker and a man comes into her homeless shelter with nothing on him but a box of old photographs he won't let anyone see. After the man passes away, Laurel becomes interested in both the history of the man and his box of photos. They contain a deep mystery that is somehow interconnected to the day she was attacked. The man and the photos are also connected to famous people from the early half of the century, including the famed Gatsbys and Buchanans from Fitzgerald's book, The Great Gatsby. The book also explores similar themes as Gatsby.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top