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Darling Jim: A Novel Hardcover – March 31, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Like the itinerant Irish storyteller at the crux of this riveting novel, Danish-born author Moerk mixes mythology, Arthurian legend, fairy tales, noir and horror in his American debut. When reclusive Moira Hegarty and her two nieces, Fiona and Róisín Walsh, are found dead in Moira's secluded home in a Dublin suburb, evidence suggests the sisters were imprisoned for months by their aunt, along with a third person, perhaps Róisín's twin sister. The young women left behind two diaries, one of which a postal clerk finds. Three years before, they fell under the spell of Jim Quick, a séanachai (or bard), whose tales of wolves and kings gave him rock star status in the sleepy town of Castletownbere. Only the Walsh sisters appear to have seen beyond the charm of darling Jim, whose presence coincides with several women's murders. Moerk tightly meshes each separate plot strand—the murders, the diaries and Quick's tales—into an enthralling story that never falters. Author tour. (Apr.)
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It’s tough enough to make a story within a story work, let alone a story within a story within a story. But Moerk manages nicely in his first novel, which opens with gruesome death. An affable mail carrier in a small Irish village grows uneasy enough about the occupant of one of the houses on his route to venture inside. His discovery of the dead home owner is only the beginning; when garda officers arrive, they find the corpses of two emaciated young women, obviously held captive in the home. The circumstances surrounding the tragedy remain a mystery—until another postman, a particularly curious one, discovers a diary written by one of the young women. The horrifying tale that unfolds as he reads introduces him to three (yes, three) very different sisters, their vulnerable aunt, and a charismatic, itinerate seanchaí, Darling Jim, whose darkly compelling stories of brothers, wolves, a princess, and a transformation turn out to be less fantastical than they appear. Bringing together elements of love, lust, murder, betrayal, madness, and secrets, Moerk does some irresistible storytelling of his own. --Stephanie Zvirin
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Top Customer Reviews
And though the story is surrounded by the lovely idyllic Hills of Ireland, there clearly lurks a danger there that cannot be underestimated; just when the audience thinks they've got the plot figured, they are taken for a loop!
The fact that the dimensional & richly developed female POVs were written by a man is indiscernible...a quality that many female and male readers alike will find appealing-
As a credentialed Literature Teacher, I would happily recommend this novel supplement Senior High & College Lit level classes, and have gifted this book to several individuals who have also exclaimed they have enjoyed the read greatly-
In short, and to recap, DARLING JIM is a Masterful Must Read!
Pick up a copy poste haste; you'll be glad you did!
Whew! I've run out of superlatives. Didja guess this is one of my all time favorite books?
I believe bad timing; it's release during the Millennium series craze, is the reason the world never went nuts over 'Darling Jim'.
Just read it.
The author uses great literary skill to tell us just that. The introduction of the diary and using it to tell much of the story is very creative. Through this means we discover the true story of the Walsh girls and the mystery of the great Jim. He is such a huge part of this story but what is he all about. Do you really dare find out?
This book comes across as part fairytale, part horror, part suspense and part gothic. All of it works. The character of Niall the postman is a very creative, realistic persona. All the characters are fully developed. I gave the book 4 stars for a few times the diary sequences did drag a little but I highly recommend this book. It is all the things I said above and written expertly. The author has provided a great journey for the reader to take.
I would highly recommend this novel!