By Neil Jordan
From the writer of The Crying Game, Mistaken is part thriller, part gothic tragedy, part comedy of manners, brilliantly evoking the divided Dublin of the 1960s and the trauma of adolescence
'I had been mistaken for him so many times that when he died it was as if part of myself had died too.'
Kevin Thunder grew up with a double - a boy so uncannily like him that they were mistaken for each other at every turn. As children in 1960s Dublin, one lived next to Bram Stoker's house, haunted by an imagined Dracula, the other in the more refined spaces of Palmerston Park. Though divided, like the city itself, by background and class, they shared the same smell, the same looks and perhaps, Kevin comes to believe, the same soul. They exchange identities when it suits them, each acting the part of the other one, but as they reach adulthood, what started as a childhood game descends into something more sinister and they discover taking on another's life can lead to darker places than either had imagined.
Neil Jordan's long-awaited new novel is an extraordinary achievement - a comedy of manners at the same time as a Gothic tragedy, a thriller and an elegy. It offers imaginative entertainment of the highest order.
Neil Jordan was born in 1950 in Sligo. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels including The Past, The Dream of a Beast, Sunrise with Sea Monster, Shade and Night in Tunisia, a collection of short stories which won the Guardian Fiction Prize. He has written, directed and produced a large number of award-winning films including The Crying Game, Michael Collins, The End of the Affair and most recently Ondine. He lives in Dublin.
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- Publication date:
23 Jun 2011
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Of all his books, Mistaken is perhaps the most universal - funny, mysterious and ultimately moving — The Times
Nothing less than a plangent, incisive poetic wonder of a book — Irish Times
The novel is so precisely written, in every detail, each syllable weighed, or so it feels that reading slowly, you find yourself watermarked by a tale you don't wish to put down, and can't bear to end . . . Two thing make this tale a stand-out read: First, Jordan's restraint . . . The other coup is the novel's structure - it is essentially an intimate revelation . . . unputdownable — Scotsman
Written with great skill, confidence and vim . . . utterly convincing: full of subtlety, delicate, piercing prose, charming, lively dialogue and descriptive passages that are poetic, witty and acute. At times it has the pace of a thriller, yet for all its highly specific subject matter it still manages to achieve a feeling of spaciousness in which it is possible for the writer to ponder, with a bit of leisure, the definition of human nature. A fine achievement, a powerful, involving and beautifully written book about identity and loss — Financial Times
Jordan is a fine writer — Time Out
A powerfully atmospheric book which turns Dublin into a murky maze of madness and melancholy — Daily Mail
Neil Jordan has a good eye for visual detail — TLS