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My Double-Whammy Days and Nights-bookcover

By: Derek Diamant

My Double-Whammy Days and Nights

Pages: 194 Ratings: 4.6
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Will young Gareth ever get his memory back? He’s lost in Paris, sleeps in parks and under bridges.

He wanders from church to church seeking comfort and solace. Will he eventually find his parents and who and where is this Mr Healer, the man everyone is looking for to cure mind and body?

Gareth meets Big Berthe of the night and other strange and wonderful characters, some of whom are just as down and out as he is. He is amazed to discover he has the gift of the double whammy and when he releases it, bodies fly. He also starts to paint and this is how he manages to eke out a living.

And then there’s this bird cawing away overhead and which sometimes comes too close for comfort.

Derek Diamant was born in Woking, England in 1942 and at an early age immigrated to Canada with his family. He now lives in France where he has worked for many years as a freelance technical translator. He also paints.

Customer Reviews
7 reviews
7 reviews
  • Nils Petersson

    The book was recommended by a friend and I am so glad I read it! The book was intriguing and engrossing! It was a real page-turner. I was reminded of my trip to Paris as I read about Gareth's adventures through Paris. Great book, hope there will be a sequel!

  • Nils Petersson

    Intriguing book! It was recommended by a friend and I'm glad I read it. The book was humouristic, captivating and kept me wanting to know more with each passage. It was a real page-turner!

  • Amanda Dafniotis

    5/5 recommended! I simply could not put it down and found myself invested in all the characters and eager to find out what would happen next. This book was beautiful, emotional and humorous all at once! The characters were complex and the author's unique way of describing Paris and all its quirks had me reminiscing about my many visits there. The storyline was unlike any I have read before-- simply riveting!

  • Charles-Henri Thévenin

    Le roman de Derek Diamant est difficile à résumer tellement il est riche et varié. Le vécu réel et l’imaginaire se mélangent ( du moins, je le suppose…)
    Tout d’abord le titre anglais : « My double-whammy days and nights », traduit par « coup double » ou « doublement pénalisé » et aussi « double malchance jour et nuit »
    A Paris le jeune Gareth, héros de l’histoire est à la recherche de sa mémoire perdue, de ses parents et surtout du fameux « guérisseur ». Menant une vie de bohème, il rêve et observe beaucoup, avec son carnet de croquis à porté de main. Il communique avec divers personnages étranges et fantasques. D’ailleurs rêves et réalité alternent avec force poésie.
    L’émotion n’est pas absente. Les rencontres érotiques, le crime, la tristesse provoquent une atmosphère remarquablement bien rendu!
    On peut imaginer que l’auteur, maitrisant ce condensé de matières pourrait développer encore de nombreux récits… Patience! Qui sait? A suivre…

  • Susanne Hyman

    The wonderful descriptions of Paris that the author describes with such detail and emotion take one right along with Gareth on his walks around Paris. The "personages" one meets along the way are real to the degree that one feels that you actually know them. However, the graphic scenes of Gareth's encounters with Clovis and others were a bit more than I am used to reading.

  • Werner von Essen

    I normally read only books with a realistic setting and story. But this one I happened to come across made a difference:
    it was such a pleasure to be transported into the fantasy world of "My double-whammy days and nights" with all its pittoresque figures and sensuality. What stands out for me is the style and colorful language with its rich vocabulary and the sound of words the author disposes of to describe persons and places. One can plainly see and feel the protagonists and the surroundings in the wanderings through Paris and the stories they are involved in.

  • Joanna Dezio

    I recently had the pleasure of reading a most unusual novel, by turns tragic and hilarious, and with striking imagery. Derek Diamant's "My Double Whammy Days and Nights" transports us into the inner life of Gareth, a homeless, down-and-out, and utterly abandoned amnesiac in Paris. Mr. Diamant spares us with no grungy details. Life on the streets is filthy. Gareth's only meals are sometimes half-eaten sandwiches abandoned on dirty streets or what kind old ladies, themselves written off by the rest of society, hand out to him. Lodging is either in a fleabag of a no-star flop house (complete with those fleas) or in a secluded corner on the streets, in parks, or in cemeteries, preferably Père Lachaise where reside so many marvelous deceased personalities, far more vibrant than a lot of folks you may know. Contacts with others are limited to what Pasolini called the sub-proletariat, or else prostitutes who have seen it all and shy away from no human condition. And yet, in the midst of this unspeakable filth and chaos, I felt curiously uplifted by reading "My Double-Whammy Days and Nights." For one, the secondary characters Gareth encounters are very well-drawn and often endearing, most especially BB, Mr. Diamant's best character depiction in my opinion (I will say no more about her because the reader needs to get to know her without anyone else's input). Interesting as a literary technique is Mr. Diamant's shifting between concrete events and fantasy, dream life and waking life. As in the film of Almodovar, we just follow him along as though all this were normal. We are in his world and soldered to his vision. Gareth discovers at one point that he has a great and powerful gift that enables him to defeat evil. And that is the Double-Whammy which, again, I believe that the reader should discover for him or herself. I will mention only that in his confrontation with evil, Gareth enters a world something akin to South American magical realism. And we are so happy that someone, finally, has the power to defeat evil. You may think that you have nothing in common with this penniless ragged soul. But if you have ever found yourself feeling utterly lost, unmoored, lacking any notion of how to pull yourself out of the quagmire to build a decent life for yourself - all very common feelings during adolescence and often beyond - you will feel something copacetic in Gareth. He will bring you back to those moments when you were deeply in touch with yourself and which you may have buried out of fear or shame. Gareth's salvation is his art. Whenever he feels a turn of events that evokes fear in him, he grabs his drawing materials. They are his precious possessions and the ones he fears may be stolen from him. They keep him from disintegrating. Lastly, I believe that Tennessee Williams said best about how we should consider others, no matter their state of degradation, in "The Night of the Iguana". When Reverend Shannon asks Hannah Jelks if she doesn't find her sad paucity of furtive sexual experiences to be squalid and disgusting, Hannah responds, "I find nothing human to be disgusting Mr. Shannon, unless it is unkind or violent."

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