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Mistaken

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  312 ratings  ·  52 reviews
'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 P
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391 pages
Published February 4th 2012 by Soft Skull Press (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 762)
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Marleen
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 ea
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Teresa
Neil Jordan is a man of many talents - director of fantastic films such as The Crying Game and Mona Lisa as well as a successful novelist. I really enjoyed Shade, his last novel published in 2005 so I'd been eagerly anticipating the appearance of Mistaken.

Mistaken begins with the funeral of Gerald Spain, once a successful author, who died suddenly in his mid fifties. Our narrator, Kevin Thunder, was frequently mistaken for Gerald in his younger days, given their strong ressemblance. Physically
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Gerard Cappa
Mistaken might have been classified under suspense/thriller/mystery, but the, now customary, excellence of Jordan's writing probably elevates it out of 'genre' writing. Not a heart pounding thriller, but a smouldering ember of unease that seeps out of the pages.
Not an easy read, but the best things in life seldom are.
Dem
A novel about two Irish boys who bear a physical resemblance to each other. They grow up in Dublin of the 1960s and from there the story goes on its journey.
I liked this book and the story but found the first 100 pages tedious and dark,the book did pick up pace in the second half and is quite enjoyable.
Jan
I found the first half of this book a real struggle and only persevered after reading some reviews which said that after the first hundred pages it gets easier and it does. I had to keep reminding myself that it is set in the second half of the 20th century as it has a distinct gothic feel to it, partly due to the style of the writing and also to the continual references to Dracula and the fact that the main character grew up in the house next to Bram Stokers childhood home. It is an insight int ...more
Andrew Francis
Neil Jordan is probably best known for his films but I prefer his work as a novelist. His writing is not to everyone’s taste, some would say that his interweaved plot lines and symbology are contrivances but I really like them; real life is generally quite amorphous and not particularly interesting, when I read a novel I want structure and I want drama. It could be likened to the painting of the pre-Raphaelites, vivid colours, plenty of contrast and considerable detail, often with naturalistic a ...more
Adrian


They say everyone has a double in the world. Even if it’s from behind, we’ve often heard stories of people running up to total strangers, tapping them on the shoulder and greeting them like long lost friends. Only for the stranger to turn around and leave the greeter stumped and embarrassed when they realise they’re facing a total stranger. I’ve done it myself, with some very embarrassing consequences. This is the premise for Irish Film director Neil Jordan’s fifth book “Mistaken”.


Kevin Thunder
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DeAnne
This was a book that was hard to read in a single sitting. The story is about 2 Dublin boys, one wealthy and one middle class. For their entire lives, they have been mistaken for one another, even though they travel in different circles. They find each other and purposefully step into each other's lives when it suits them, accidently involving themselves in a murder along the way. The story begins at the funeral of one of the men, with the wife and daughter commenting on how similar this strange ...more
Maureen
This literary book is beautifully written if painfully sad. Perhaps this is every fiction by an Irish writer. I don't know. All I know is that I love Jordan's The Crying Game which is in my top ten film list of all time, but it took me two months to read this book. It didn't speak and sing to me so much as bog me down in misery. The confusing use of second person for alternate chapters didn't help. Not for me.

2.5 stars
Kaisa
Luin kirjan suomenkielisen käännöksen: Ilmetty. Tarina kertoo dublinilaisesta Kevin-pojasta, jolle vähitellen valkenee että kaupungin katuja kulkee joku toinen, joka näyttää aivan häneltä ja johon hänet jatkuvasti sekoitetaan. Vähitellen Kevinin ja kaksoisolennon elämät kietoutuvat yhteen ja sekoittuvat yhä tiiviimmin.

Kirja oli tietyiltä osin todella hyvä, mutta paljon siitä jäi myös uupumaan. Juonen idea on hieno ja omalaatuinen, mutta toteutus jää vähän vajavaiseksi. Loppuratkaisu onnistui yll
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Eamon Doody
A clever book. Themes include identity, family, class and the sorrow of loss.

As might be expected from movie director Jordan the book reads like a film - and one can easily imagine the cuts being made between the two stories illustrating the lives of these dopplegangers born on different sides of the tracks.

I first lived in Dublin long after the period in which this novel starts but the city - and its north/south poorer/richer divisions still hold a lot of sway. The city of Dublin does feature
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Peter
A very, very well written book. (They seem to be getting rarer. Barley a typo in it.)

Mistaken was a slight twist on the 'My Miserable Irish Childhood" book / genre that has rather plagued my bookshelves over the years.

The story follows two lookalike boys as they grow into men. INevitably their lives cross and intertwine as they are mistaken for each other. They meet and learn to take advantage of their similarities with varying results. It was one of those funny/sad/tragic/dark/cheerful books t
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Ronan Mcdonnell
A twisting, slow burning story about two men who are mistaken for each other throughout their lives. They never become close, but eventually are acquainted to some degree, their ties getting closer tangentially as they age. This is also the story of the city they share and which divides them.

It is a melancholy rumination on a city, a whole way of living that has disappeared. The emotional investment the reader makes in the characters is wearying, the level of the writing being so laden with empa
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MyBookAffair
A story about a couple of look-a-likes who get mistaken for one another and step in and out of each others lives... a good idea? The premise has promise, but something in the delivery of the story gets in the way. The prose style is very image-driven; reading like a series of blurred images, not unlike an impressionist painting, all building to create an overall sense of the relationship between the two main characters, Kevin Thunder and Gerald Spain.

To read my full review, please visit my blog
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Mike
Superb...a story of how people can feel disconnected throughout their lives and long for being connected...

As the story unfolds, you certainly feel connected to Kevin as he is the narrator -- and Gerald is just a character.

But in the end, it is Gerald with whom you feel the greater connection and who becomes the more sympathetic figure.

I feel Mr. Jordan was particularly successful in painting episodes that were genuine and kept the wires connected throughout the story...

Will definitely read more
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Joan
I thought this was an interesting book which described the class distinctions in Dublin, contained some surprising plot twists and had thoughtful insights into the process of growing up. That said, it was very slow moving until that last quarter of the novel and many of the characters were left unsatisfyingly under-developed...including the narrator. Also, the device of telling the story to "you" was distracting and did little to serve the narrative. Worth reading but tough to get through.
Sarah
overall, this was an entertaining book to read but i got a bit bored while doing so. i wanted there to be more developed about the connection between kevin & gerald, or kevin & gerald's daughter, or anything. there were a lot of different parts to the plot that were never explored deep enough for my liking and things were left semi-resolved. and the bits about the vampire were weird and unnecessary. it was a bit slow to start and then just seemed to be over.
Lisa
Meh. Felt like it spent 120 pages building in infinitesimal increments, then 50 pages idling, then the remainder of the book dribbling out like sands from a broken hour glass.

Predictably, I might add. And I so hate 2nd person POV (just read 2 in a row with this peculiar perspective) and I will definitely ensure that I never read another book told in that way again.

Terry
This is the first novel I’ve read by Neil Jordan, and based on his movies, in particular “The Crying Game,” I had high hopes. The novel is atmospheric; there’s pretty good character development; but it read like a slow burn that just fizzled out instead of coming to a blazing conclusion. The twin genre is pretty much overdone anyway; there was nothing new here.
Mintti
Suomeksi Ilmetty. Joo, nyt olen vähän sitä mieltä että suutari pysyköön lestissään. Tykkään Jordanin leffoista, ja niissä hän tuntuukin olevan enemmän omalla kentällään kuin näissä kirjoissa. Tarina oli mielenkiintoinen ja varmasti siitä tulisi hyvä leffa, mutta kirjoitus oli raskassoutuista ja sekavaa ja alku oli hankala. Ei oikein irronnut nyt kyllä Jordanilta.
Gerri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Siobhan Fallon
Only about a third of the way through, finding it a bit moody and atmospheric, but the story is compelling and keeps me reading. Two boys from different suburbs of Dublin (and different classes) are continually mistaken for one another, which creates this feeling of intimacy between them, and weaves their very different lives together.
Peter
A devastating meditation on identity, the soul of modern Ireland, and the price we pay for dreams. Jordan fires on all cylinders; prose, narrative, and memorable characters all propel this novel to its conclusion with melancholic precision.

If I could write this well, I could sleep at night.
Mickey
Mundane and monotonous. Can't wait till I turn the last page, not because I'm excited but just for the sake of finishing the book. Giving it a benefit of doubt, that perhaps there'll be some elements of surprise towards the end...too bad, I was wrong and utterly bored.
Debs
Jordan has a fine way with prose--which I suspected, having long been a fan of his films--but the novel didn't grab me the way I hoped it would. That being said, the letters written by Gerald to Kevin at the end struck something in me and almost moved me to tears.
A. Mary Murphy
Jordan's storytelling skills are not confined to filmmaking. This novel has some nice twists, and the twin protagonists just may function as some sort of metaphor for the island of Ireland, but the story isn't so simplistic as to be that only.
Martie Nees Record
SPOILER.
It was supposed to be gothic. I thought there were suggestive qualities but was irritatingly lacking of the real thing. The big surprise ending is that unknown to each other they were brothers. Good prose, boring read.
Louise Guiry
I found it quiet an interesting read, curious. It was something u might day dream about. But I never felt a climax or my mood never changed with the book. It's a book that may quench a curiosity but that's about it for me.
Alison
I read this book for book group and I didn't think I would get through it. The beginning was very slow and as it did move along a little faster in the middle, but it was just ok. I need to read a real page turner now!
Amber
I wanted to love this book, but there was something about the way it was written that mildly annoyed me. Good storyline, interesting idea, but imho, it was rather cumbersome to get through.
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Neil Jordan is an Irish novelist and film director.
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“I had made a decision, although I hardly knew it yet. It's often that way with decisions, they're made in some hidden part of us and the awareness secretes itself slowly into that conscious part of us that imagines it decides.” 18 likes
“I walked with them, as crowds have that effect on me, I want to do what they do, to journey towards some point of revelation, which of course never comes” 5 likes
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