Books

Top 5 books featuring doppelgängers – chosen by acclaimed Rabbit Hole author Kate Brody

The Los Angeles-based author picks her favourite five books about doppelgangers

Doppelgangers

Image: Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Doppelgangers have long been used as a device in fiction and as an intriguing subject for non-fiction. Here are five of the best.

Despair by Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov’s novel, originally published in Russian, follows Hermann Karlovich, a chocolate factory owner who discovers his doppelganger’s living on the streets in Prague. Nabokov is the king of unreliable narrators and false doubles.  

The Likeness by Tana French 

The second book in the excellent Dublin Murder Squad series follows detective Cassie Maddox as she impersonates her dead ringer (pun intended) in order to solve her murder. Secret History vibes.  

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 

Ishiguro considers the human cost of cloning and turns usual fears about doppelgangers on their head. The question isn’t what if you had a double, it’s what if you were the double? 

The Resemblance by Lauren Nossett 

This campus thriller follows detective Marlitt Kaplan as she investigates a fraternity-related hit-and-run, in which a brother is struck dead by a driver that eyewitnesses claim resembled the victim. Come for the mystery; stay for the commentary on university life. 

Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein 

Klein’s timely investigation into our interconnected, chronically online lives begins with an obsession with her own doppelganger, Naomi Wolf. From there she explores the ways in which our society has fractured. 

Doppelganger

Rabbit Hole by Kate Brody is out 18 January (Bloomsbury, £16.99).

You can buy some of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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