Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Neil Jordan

John Murray, 2011

This, as critics say, Gothic, although it is absolutely realistic, novel begins with the funeral. One of the two who is constantly confused is dead. The one that remains alive writes a long letter (which became this book) to the daughter of the deceased.

Two boys are confused since childhood. Kevin Thunder, the protagonist, lives next door to the house where once lived the author of "Dracula" Bram Stoker. The boy often seems that he is constantly watching vampire, sometimes even talking to him in the dark. Kevin begins to understand that he is mistaken for someone else first, when he was caught in a comic book store: another boy stole something and the seller accepts Kevin a thief and tells him get out. Then again, Kevin is mistaken for another boy, when one of the high school boys offers him a cigarette: the last time you smoked, says senior. So, Kevin begins to suspect that there is another boy from another school, so like him that they are almost impossible to discern. Once in the queue for ice cream a girl calls out Kevin and wonders why he did not call, even though he had promised. Kevin does not tell her that he is not who was supposed to call. Kevin pretends for weeks, walking with a girl on a date, he even likes to be so different.

Kevin first meets with his counterpart, when high school students take away pocket money, and Kevin defends mistaken boy Gerald, who later became a writer. They are both in awkward situation: they are often mistaken. Kevin advises Gerald to call the girl, which he once has not called.

Despite all the realism, the novel actually reads like something mystical. Jordan has a distinct style, which successfully blends into the narrative while giving away cold, but and the same time waking-up emotions. The author then started a triple play: there are three writers here – Jordan himself, Gerald and Kevin. And Jordan skillfully uses this twist, affecting issues of writing, sometimes merging with the protagonist, sometimes pulling away from him.

The narrative is divided into two layers: in one Kevin remembers his past, in another he meets the daughter of the deceased twin and tells her about her father, helps her to deal with personal life, replacing her father thereby. Twins’ fate was such that each of them thinks his life as a failure, living in vain and for nothing. But each of the two dreams that it appear they are on-site each other, then things would have been much better. Everyone would get what he wanted. They both want to live someone else's life, forgetting that one should live his own life.

The culmination of the novel can be considered the murder of Loretta, Gerald's mistress. Jordan, as expected, could not do without murder here. But the murder in the novel is completely in place, interspersed here not to just add suspense, which is already enough here.

«Mistaken» last but not least is a novel about jealousy. Brothers frankly envious of each other's lives, but because of the fiber of a character, none of them does not openly show his envy.

Jordan took up the challenge - to write an unbanal novel about twins. He won. Perhaps the main fault of this book can be attributed only to the final, when the reader learns the mystery of twins. Version that the brothers have been adopted and that in fact they are the sons of cyrcus woman seems even vulgar on the general background of the novel. The author prepares the reader to the mysterious riddle, increasing tension with each page. And then we learn about some twin brothers of dissolute mother. It's like a Gothic facade of the building in which someone threw a rotten egg.

It would have been a brilliant novel if not that end.

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