The Double by Philip Quinn

The Double

byPhilip Quinn

Kobo ebook | June 12, 2003

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Starting with the little known historical fact that James Earl Ray hid in Toronto following the assassination of Martin Luther King, the author builds an elaborate scenario around Toronto's history for creating and hiding assassins and murderers.


The poet Emily Carr Black believes that the complacent lives of her lovers and friends have allowed them to be seized and replaced by their doubles. The only person who is not in any danger is Augustus Pollard, an orphan, who is convinced that he is the illegitimate son of James Earl Ray, the self-confessed killer of King.


While receiving psychiatric treatment, Emily's condition changes and she begins to fear her own seizure by her double, a woman she's nicknamed Irena Del Ray.


Her sightings of Irena become more prevalent and Augustus humourously plays on her fears. Women are disappearing in the city and she thinks he's guilty of unspeakable crimes. Familiar figures from Toronto's literary scene are using Emily's descent into madness as the raw material for their poems and short stories.


On Halloween night, murderous spirits roam freely, and destinies collide and obsessions are seen for what they are and later tossed into the Don River with all the other pollution.




Reading The Double is like watching a David Lynch film: You're never

sure whether what is happening is actually happening, but then, what

does it matter? It's there, right before your widening eyes.

I read Quinn's novel twice -- not a habit with me. The first time, I

was puzzled, but intrigued. The second time, I doubled back, I

revised, I continued to puzzle, I enjoyed. By then, I was a

participant. The ultimate, most vital doubling, of course, is that

of author and reader. Each is an integral part of the dark,

dangerous joy ride of this book.


Melanie Little may or may not be the true author of the short story collection Confidence. The Globe and Mail

Title:The DoubleFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 12, 2003Publisher:Interrobang MediaLanguage:English

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