MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Likeness

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Likeness

A Novel

by Tana French

The Likeness by Tana French X
The Likeness by Tana French
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2008, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 480 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Patty Magyar
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Likeness

Print Review

Doppelgangers
When Cassie sees a woman lying stabbed to death who looks exactly like her, with an ID that matches the identity she used for years as an undercover detective, it seems clear that she is looking at her own doppelganger.

  • The dictionary describes a doppelganger (or doubleganger, from the German for 'doublegoer' or lookalike) as a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person. In the vernacular the term has come to be used more loosely to describe any sort of double.
     
  • The doppelgangers of folklore are said to have no shadows or reflection (similar in some ways to vampires). They are inevitably bad news, being either malicious or a bad omen, often heralding death or a serious illness.
     
  • Doppelgangers appear quite frequently in fiction. R. L. Stevenson's Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Grey being notable examples.
     
  • Famous accounts of doppelgangers include Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Horla", which apparently tells of his own experience with a doppelganger. Prolific short story writer, Maupassant, considered by some the greatest French short story writer and often compared to Edgar Allan Poe, contracted syphilis in his 20s and died at the age of 43 having been committed to an asylum the year before.
     
  • Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler and contemporary of the poet John Donne, claims Donne met his wife's doppelganger shortly before his daughter was stillborn. Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is said to have seen his doppelganger in a dream shortly before his death; and there are various reports that Lincoln saw his in a mirror shortly before his death.
     
  • Freud considered the doppelganger a figure that embodied the return of a repressed soul, a soul who has released what should always have been hidden.
     
  • Scientists at the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland have discovered that the treatment of epilepsy through the electrical stimulation of the brain can produce the sensation of a doppelganger's presence in the patient.

Article by Patty Magyar

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Likeness. It originally ran in September 2008 and has been updated for the May 2009 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Follow Me to Ground
    Follow Me to Ground
    by Sue Rainsford
    Ada and her father are human-like beings who age slowly and possess the power to heal all illness. ...
  • Book Jacket: Children of the Land
    Children of the Land
    by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
    In this exquisitely crafted memoir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo describes coming of age as a young ...
  • Book Jacket: A Good Neighborhood
    A Good Neighborhood
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    After fictionalized biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald (Z, 2013) and Alva Vanderbilt (A Well-Behaved ...
  • Book Jacket: Little Gods
    Little Gods
    by Meng Jin
    Little Gods, Meng Jin's intricate, emotionally intelligent debut, opens with a scene in which ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Dirt
    by Jeanine Cummins

    A new American classic, and the first book to ever score a perfect 5-stars in BookBrowse's early reader program!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Sun Down Motel
    by Simone St. James

    The chilling new novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Father of Lions
by Louise Callaghan

A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.