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Mistaken
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Catapult 2012
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Description
Menace both real and imagined haunt two Dubliners in this “unsettling . . . seductive” modern Gothic “that ultimately leaves one gasping” (Irish Times). “Vampires, secrets, the mysteries of identity: the obsessions that run through the director Neil Jordan’s films are at the center of his beautifully enigmatic novel . . . of two look-alike men who feed off each other’s souls all their crisscrossed lives” (The New York Times). Kevin Thunder and Gerald Spain have grown up on opposite sides of the Dublin economic divide. Kevin’s father is a bookie and his mother takes in lodgers on the city’s impoverished northside. Gerald, a lawyer’s son, is afforded a more well-heeled upbringing. Yet they share a growing awareness of each other through episodes of mistaken identity. At first, innocent enough—one approached by the other’s confused girlfriend, or being called out to in the street. But Kevin is unnerved by more than a doppelganger. He lives next door to the one-time home of Bram Stoker. And the shadows of the author’s evil creation, as well as those cast by a lookalike stranger, stretch far across his early years. It’s only when a tragic death sends both young men down a darker path, that Kevin and Gerald are destined to meet. A “beautifully enigmatic . . . darkly luminous” (The New York Times Book Review) thriller, Mistaken is also “the best novel I’ve read about Dublin in years” (The Independent).
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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/01/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781593764715
ASIN:
B006GCKHPE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Neil Jordan. (2012). Mistaken. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Neil Jordan. 2012. Mistaken. Catapult.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Neil Jordan, Mistaken. Catapult, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Neil Jordan. Mistaken. Catapult, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:44:27
Date Updated:
Jan 04, 2021 17:13:17
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Apr 11, 2021 09:02:37
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      • bioText: Neil Jordan is the author of several critically-acclaimed novels including Mistaken, 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 Academy Award-winning films including The Crying Game, Michael Collins, Interview with a Vampire, The End of the Affair, and Ondine. He is currently the Creator and Executive Producer of the Emmy-nominated Showtime series The Borgias. He lives in Dublin.
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publishDate
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title
Mistaken
fullDescription
Menace both real and imagined haunt two Dubliners in this “unsettling . . . seductive” modern Gothic “that ultimately leaves one gasping” (Irish Times).
“Vampires, secrets, the mysteries of identity: the obsessions that run through the director Neil Jordan’s films are at the center of his beautifully enigmatic novel . . . of two look-alike men who feed off each other’s souls all their crisscrossed lives” (The New York Times).
Kevin Thunder and Gerald Spain have grown up on opposite sides of the Dublin economic divide. Kevin’s father is a bookie and his mother takes in lodgers on the city’s impoverished northside. Gerald, a lawyer’s son, is afforded a more well-heeled upbringing. Yet they share a growing awareness of each other through episodes of mistaken identity. At first, innocent enough—one approached by the other’s confused girlfriend, or being called out to in the street. But Kevin is unnerved by more than a doppelganger. He lives next door to the one-time home of Bram Stoker. And the shadows of the author’s evil creation, as well as those cast by a lookalike stranger, stretch far across his early years. It’s only when a tragic death sends both young men down a darker path, that Kevin and Gerald are destined to meet.
A “beautifully enigmatic . . . darkly luminous” (The New York Times Book Review) thriller, Mistaken is also “the best novel I’ve read about Dublin in years” (The Independent).
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 23, 2012
        A case of mistaken identity sets the plot in motion in this meticulous, well-crafted novel from author and filmmaker Jordan (Interview with the Vampire). Kevin is growing up in working class North Dublin when unexplainable things begin to happen: strange girls press their hips against his in the dance club—asking him why he hasn’t called—and men offer him cigarettes, despite his never having smoked. Eventually, it becomes clear that Kevin is being mistaken for another, a boy named Gerry from the wealthier side of town, who attends a posh school. Initially frightened, Kevin begins little by little to take advantage of these bizarre circumstances. Having led a young woman who insists they know one another down to a grassy section of the dunes, he’s momentarily stumped, then lets “the imagined him”—the other—“take over.” Kevin and Gerry meet as adolescents, and so begins a lifetime’s worth of chance encounters, misunderstandings, and intermittent life-swapping, culminating in a “shared” crime, that, as Kevin says, Gerald “wanted” but he (Kevin) “executed.” As one might expect from a seasoned filmmaker, the novel is well plotted and mysteries are revealed at a tantalizing pace. Nor is Jordan a slouch on the sentence level; the language is precise and evocative, with Dublin itself lovingly rendered in all its gray complexity.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2012
        The Irish filmmaker offers a doppelganger novel about the entwined lives of two Dubliners, as his sixth work of fiction (Shade, 2004, etc.). They're the same age. They look almost the same. Yet their backgrounds are strikingly different. Kevin Thunder, the narrator, lives on Dublin's impoverished northside, while Gerry Spain is from the well-heeled southside; the class antagonisms are raw. Kevin's father is a bookie; Jerry's is a lawyer, later a judge. Kevin's rough-and-tumble schooling is far inferior to Jerry's fancy private school. Their lives, however, will overlap for some 40 years, from their adolescence in the 1960s to Jerry's death in his mid 50s (his funeral opens and closes the novel). Kevin finds himself being mistaken for Gerry: ejected from a store for shoplifting, approached invitingly by a girlfriend. Amid the confusion he has one dependable ally: his beloved mother, the caretaker of their building's apartments. His father is often away, and Kevin is happy to replace him (there are Oedipal overtones). Mother and son go swimming together until one day, alone, she drowns. Jordan is at his best depicting their tender solicitude and Kevin's coming-of-age encounters with Gerry's girls. His touch is less sure with Kevin/Gerry. They eventually meet in a series of edgy encounters. By now Gerry is an undergraduate at well-manicured Trinity, while Kevin's at a trade school; Gerry, shy and insecure, uses Kevin's name for his published stories. The ladies still get them confused. "Were we...the light and shade of the same person?" It's the classic dilemma posed by the genre. Jordan plays with it, offsetting Kevin's weak light against the increasingly dark, addicted, adulterous Jerry, but years pass before he ratchets up the tension. The climax, flashy and camera-ready, involves impersonation and murder in Manhattan, but it seems less ordained than arbitrary. An uneven work that is at its most authentic in its evocation of a time when Dublin was more large village than city.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2012
        Growing up in a poor part of Dublin in the 1960s, Kevin Thunder finds that he is repeatedly mistaken for someone else. The mistake gets him in trouble one time, lands him a girlfriend another, and continually haunts him through the years. His near double, Gerald Spain, is growing up in a wealthy neighborhood across town, and the two are as different as their upbringings, but they form a tentative relationship, swapping places when they like and borrowing each other's identities. Through Kevin's flashbacks, we follow the two as they grow up, experience love and loss, pursue dreams and careers, and discover for themselves whether they are really two souls or one. This unique telling of the traditional right-versus-wrong-side-of-the-tracks story is an understated, beautifully written journey of self-discovery. Clean, precise language brings the rich Irish setting to life and provides contrast to Kevin's tragic and sometimes unreliable narration. Jordan's newest novel is dark and mournful, with elements of a thriller, and many will find it difficult to put down.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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Menace both real and imagined haunt two Dubliners in this “unsettling . . . seductive” modern Gothic “that ultimately leaves one gasping” (Irish Times).
“Vampires, secrets, the mysteries of identity: the obsessions that run through the director Neil Jordan’s films are at the center of his beautifully enigmatic novel . . . of two look-alike men who feed off each other’s souls all their crisscrossed lives” (The New York Times).
Kevin Thunder and Gerald Spain have grown up on opposite sides of the Dublin economic divide. Kevin’s father is a bookie and his mother takes in lodgers on the city’s impoverished northside. Gerald, a lawyer’s son, is afforded a more well-heeled upbringing. Yet they share a growing awareness of each other through episodes of mistaken identity. At first, innocent enough—one approached by the other’s confused girlfriend, or being called out to in the street. But...
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