Anthony McIntyre 🔖 The bridge between the novel and novella or other forms of short story telling is not always crossed adroitly by those more attuned to long form writing. 


Perhaps it is akin to a marathon runner not being equipped to meet the challenges of the 100 metre sprint. Stephen King managed to straddle both quite successfully. But it is rare that the heights of a work like Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx are ever scaled by those whose writing style is more comfortable with something other than the long haul.

Having been a fan of Jo Nesbo’s work on those occasions when he has wandered off the beaten track of Harry Hole and into standalone novels, I opted to explore his odyssey through the world of the short story. Foregoing the written word, I opted for the audio book, a  format I only picked up with the onset of Covid. Always a great way to absorb the contents of a book while walking.

Years ago while Cage 11 of Long Kesh, while I still had some faith in priest craft, I noticed one of the Redemptorists, who had been in for Novena week, pacing up and down in the cage between events while reading a bible. I later tried it, not with the bible, but found it never worked for me. Apart from me feeling pretentious, the text appeared far too unstable, my eyes unable to synch with the jerky movement of the page, the undulations being anything but smooth.  Occasionally I have seen people, usually women for some reason, read a book as they stroll. Apart from the hazards of not being alert to what is going on around them I was always puzzled as to how they could synchronise. In any event, it is an art that is pretty useless in the rain.

Earphones in, and whether walking the dog or skipping dog poo on Dublin streets – harder to do when reading – via audio I slip into the type of serenity that only books offer.

Jealousy Man, despite its darkness and brooding sense of violence, is so brilliantly narrated that the equanimity effect kicks in rapidly. So good in fact, that when delving into the narrative last thing in the evening while in bed, it is rare to reach the end of the five minute time limit the listener can manually set. On occasion, having forgotten to set the timer, I have awoken to find the book many stations down the line from where I had anticipated disembarking 

Jealousy Man is a twelve story walk through the mirrored halls of murder, intrigue, alternative universes, vengeance, suicide, betrayal, fratricide, filicide, passion and morbid twists, all accompanied by an endless procession of deeply flawed characters.

The first out of the traps, where two people seemingly meet by chance on a plane only to discover otherwise, sets the stage for those that follow, each delivering a performance which can often seem like an audition for a role as the Grim Reaper.  Spreading its wings further afield than his Norwegian homeland, Nesbo never glides close enough to the sun for the wax to melt. Conrad’s heart of darkness that endlessly serves up Scandinoir stays firmly in place. 

Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

Jealousy Man

Anthony McIntyre 🔖 The bridge between the novel and novella or other forms of short story telling is not always crossed adroitly by those more attuned to long form writing. 


Perhaps it is akin to a marathon runner not being equipped to meet the challenges of the 100 metre sprint. Stephen King managed to straddle both quite successfully. But it is rare that the heights of a work like Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx are ever scaled by those whose writing style is more comfortable with something other than the long haul.

Having been a fan of Jo Nesbo’s work on those occasions when he has wandered off the beaten track of Harry Hole and into standalone novels, I opted to explore his odyssey through the world of the short story. Foregoing the written word, I opted for the audio book, a  format I only picked up with the onset of Covid. Always a great way to absorb the contents of a book while walking.

Years ago while Cage 11 of Long Kesh, while I still had some faith in priest craft, I noticed one of the Redemptorists, who had been in for Novena week, pacing up and down in the cage between events while reading a bible. I later tried it, not with the bible, but found it never worked for me. Apart from me feeling pretentious, the text appeared far too unstable, my eyes unable to synch with the jerky movement of the page, the undulations being anything but smooth.  Occasionally I have seen people, usually women for some reason, read a book as they stroll. Apart from the hazards of not being alert to what is going on around them I was always puzzled as to how they could synchronise. In any event, it is an art that is pretty useless in the rain.

Earphones in, and whether walking the dog or skipping dog poo on Dublin streets – harder to do when reading – via audio I slip into the type of serenity that only books offer.

Jealousy Man, despite its darkness and brooding sense of violence, is so brilliantly narrated that the equanimity effect kicks in rapidly. So good in fact, that when delving into the narrative last thing in the evening while in bed, it is rare to reach the end of the five minute time limit the listener can manually set. On occasion, having forgotten to set the timer, I have awoken to find the book many stations down the line from where I had anticipated disembarking 

Jealousy Man is a twelve story walk through the mirrored halls of murder, intrigue, alternative universes, vengeance, suicide, betrayal, fratricide, filicide, passion and morbid twists, all accompanied by an endless procession of deeply flawed characters.

The first out of the traps, where two people seemingly meet by chance on a plane only to discover otherwise, sets the stage for those that follow, each delivering a performance which can often seem like an audition for a role as the Grim Reaper.  Spreading its wings further afield than his Norwegian homeland, Nesbo never glides close enough to the sun for the wax to melt. Conrad’s heart of darkness that endlessly serves up Scandinoir stays firmly in place. 

Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

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