Category Archives: Daren King

Jim Giraffe – Daren King

I bought this from a charity shop as with cheap books you are always more inclined to try something a little more risky. Having not really know what it was about but vaguely recollecting a woman say it was one of the most immature vilest pieces of fiction she had read I thought I’d give it a go. As I have said, I am not a book snob plus one man (or woman’s) rubbish is another man (or woman’s) treasure, I wouldn’t say this was exactly a treasure.

Scott Spectrum is being haunted, not by your typical spooky ghost but by the ghost of a giraffe called Jim who has come to save him from a fatal heart attack and early death. Jim points out the weaknesses and loop holes in Scott’s life, from his unfulfilled and unsatisfied wife, to his personality faults. He is a dirty minded giraffe who says what most people think but wouldn’t say. However are Jim’s motives as genuine as they seem… well for a ghost giraffe anyway?

I thought the first half of the book was absolutely brilliant. Witty, blunt, brutally honest and looked at things we have all thought or experienced but would never in a million years talk about. It’s incredibly surreal, I like books that have a surreal twist yet sometimes it can go too far and veer off to no mans land and sadly this book did just that. I managed to believe in ghost giraffes, well why shouldn’t there be such a thing if we have human ghosts. All of a sudden though, I can’t pin point where without giving everything away, I just thought ‘no’ and what had been a book I was racing though suddenly felt like racing through mud. The characters became too much, the dirtily funny became a bit obscene and I lost interest.

I would bizarrely read another Daren King book though. I think his imagination and visions though weird are also wonderful. I think his prose is brilliant if slightly stark and sweary perhaps and I thought his characters were really interesting which is what you want from a book, well an author maybe as this book isn’t quite the right example. It was different and short though which was just what I needed right now.

I think when you find a book like this that is either a love it or hate it book (or in my case love the start hate the middle to end book) then charity shops are great for taking a risk. However if I had paid out the £10 that this was originally going for then I would have been really disappointed.


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Filed under Daren King, Review, Vintage Books