nutsaboutplants

WTF is the matter with this AJ Finn/Dan Mallory guy?

nutsaboutplants
last month
last modified: last month

I finished reading The Woman in the Window by Dan Mallory, under the nom de plume A.J. Finn. Then started looking up the author, and am dumbfounded by what I’m reading. He’s a pathological liar, manipulator of people for his own gain and his novel seems to be heavily borrowing from other similar plots. His lies and deceptions are well-documented, which he now tries to explain by proclaiming himself bipolar. There are numerous articles about this, including the one linked below from the New Yorker.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions

I’m not sure if there are any illegal acts here, but I don’t know how one becomes rich and famous after doing what he’s done.

Comments (12)

  • HU-432155661
    last month

    I read the book, too, thought it was so-so. That hasn’t stopped Hollywood from making it a major motion picture, coming out relatively soon. I read about the author as well, very unsettling.

  • OutsidePlaying
    last month

    I read the book and while I don’t recall all the details, didn‘t find it remarkable. And I surely didn’t read up on the author! Wow!

  • Jinx
    last month

    I read that article when it came out and really regretted that I ever ordered his book. I never understood the hype over it, I guess the timing was just right for everyone riding the coattails of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train.

    But yeah, he’s quite the liar and manipulator. Sad that he‘s so greatly rewarded for it.

  • Bunny
    last month

    Just read the New Yorker article, then watched some video clips of him. The guy's a real piece of work. His book didn't appeal to me, but I wouldn't go near it now.

  • nutsaboutplants
    last month

    The novel Saving April has an identical plot to The Woman in the Window and was published a few months earlier. But apparently Mr. Mallory had a “detailed outline” that he shared with his publisher before Saving April was published. With him being an editor, why haven’t they looked closely at whether he had access to the other book, pre-publication? How does one get away with lying about basic qualifications, basic personal history (for self-gain) and semi-stealing a plot?

  • nutsaboutplants
    last month

    And he has a deal on his second book. I guess publishers are willing to look the other way if he sells.

  • Bluebell66
    last month

    I haven’t read the book, but read the article you posted this morning. Wow, very interesting. He doesn’t even try to keep his lies straight.

  • jmck_nc
    last month

    Interesting. I think borderline personality disorder is the diagnosis vs bipolar. Whatever it is, or isn't, he is a piece of work. I read the book and it was just ok.

  • IdaClaire
    last month

    I read the book and quite enjoyed it. That said, it had been quite some time since I've read anything suspenseful, so I think what I enjoyed most of all were the twists and turns and the wondering what the heck was going on. I skimmed the article (it was LONG), but got the gist of it. I have, within the past couple of years, had someone come into my life who turned out to be a pathological liar and self-seeking drama llama, so perhaps that strongly colors my view, but I don't even want to KNOW about people who are "that way", and just want them to stay the hell away from me and mine. It's a horrible thing to be sucked into their sway, and my heart goes out to those who feel they were duped by Mallory.

  • nutsaboutplants
    last month

    Ida, that’s just messed up, right? As far as the two novels are themselves concerned, here is the New York Times’s summation of the similarities between them, with spoilers, of course:


    “The protagonists of both novels are middle-aged women — Hannah in “Saving April,” and Anna in “The Woman in the Window” — who suffer from intense anxiety and are afraid to leave their homes, and begin spying on their neighbors, in both cases, an unhappily married couple with an adopted teenage child who has a troubled past. In “Saving April,” the teenager is a girl whose birth mother was a neglectful alcoholic; in “The Woman in the Window,” the adopted teenager is a boy whose birth mother was a neglectful drug addict.

    Both novels’ narrators have been traumatized and wracked with guilt over car crashes that killed their husbands and young daughters, when they were at the wheel, driving in bad weather and fighting with their spouses over infidelity.

    In both stories, the heroines call the police to check on their neighbors after witnessing something unsettling, but the police discount their accounts because they suspect the women of heavy drinking and being unhinged. And the novels feature a nearly identical final twist: In each story, the teenager that the narrator is trying to protect turns out to be a manipulative psychopath, who tortures animals, has killed one or both birth parents, and then tried to kill the protagonist after confessing to the crimes.”


    Link To the full article here:


    Similarities in 2 Novels Raise Questions About the Limits of Literary Influence - The New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/books/dan-mallory-woman-window-denzil.html

  • OutsidePlaying
    last month

    Oh, it does indeed get worse, doesn’t it, Nuts? I won’t be buying his next novel that is certain. I didn’t fully read the end of the NYT article, as it just seemed to point out more weird behavior after another. So ultimately it definitely should at least raise the question about whether he had access to the other book pre-publication. I wouldn’t want to be associated with such a psychopath if I were in the business.

    When the movie rights are bought, I suppose the producers aren’t obligated to consult further with the book author unless that is in the contract. And I’m sure there are many who will never know this story who will flock to the movies and buy the next book of his.

  • nutsaboutplants
    last month

    Outside, you're right that most people will never know the backstory. It‘s incredulous that he‘s gotten away with such duplicity all his (adult) life.

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