AUTHOR: NEIL JORDAN
Kevin Thunder is a young boy, growing up on the Northside of Dublin next door to Bram Stoker’s house, when he discovers he has a double. A double with whom he doesn’t only share his looks but it seems also a certain smell and maybe even his soul.
And before long he starts taking advantage of this resemblance especially when it comes to girls.
When Kevin and his double, Gerald Spain, meet up, the exchanging identities for various purposes is at first almost a game, something to make their lives easier, to achieve things they feel they can’t do as themselves.
But, what starts out as a bit of fun, a way of making life easier or more interesting, turns very dark once they’re grown up and exchange identities one more time.
The premise of this story is interesting and this could have been a fascinating book. Unfortunately it wasn’t.
This book irritated me on many levels. I didn’t like the way Kevin’s walks through Dublin are described almost street by street. And if that didn’t work for someone like me, who is somewhat familiar with those streets, I can’t help wondering what it must be like for someone who doesn’t know Dublin at all. Those descriptions almost made me wonder if maybe Jordan is hoping that someone, in the future, will start walking tours through Dublin based on this book like we have them for Joyce’s Ulysses.
If there is a deeper significance to the vampire part of the story-line it was lost on me and I don’t think the story would have lost anything if it had been left out.
The revelation later on in the book didn’t come as any sort of a surprise to me either.
Overall I was rather disappointed with this book that seemed to promise so much more than it delivered. It felt contrived and rather self-indulgent.
This was my first book by Jordan, and after this experience I rather doubt if I will try anything else by him anytime soon.