Darling Jim, by Christian Moerk****

The writer makes his English novel writing debut with this book, which I snatched off a sidewalk cart for two bucks. Wow! It is, as he explains in the back pages of the book, like a Russian doll: a story, within a story, within a story, within a story, 4 plots nested inside of one another.

Some writers just start writing and see what comes out, then edit just a little. (Stephen King, a personal favorite of mine, comes to mind). But this writer begins with a 75 page outline with snippets of dialogue, all planned out carefully, before he commences writing. Truly remarkable. On top of it all, it was originally written in English, although the writer is Danish, and the story set in Ireland. (The Danish publication came out first, but the English draft was submitted first; the writer did the Danish translation himself).

If you like memoirs; ghost/werewolf/vampire stories (or at least an implication);or if you have a soft spot for the outlying regions of Ireland, where a latte is available but legends and superstitions sometimes still hold sway, find a copy of this book in whatever language you like (just about) and snuggle before the fire. Eat first, and have something to drink with you; you’ll be awhile.

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