Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Likeness

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The Likeness

A Novel

by Tana French

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

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Book Reviewed by:
Patty Magyar

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Beyond the Book

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 ...

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