The book “West:” has already been exhaustively reviewed and in many cases we believe, pseudonymously by the author himself. It was not, despite expectation, long-listed for the “Wales Book of the Year” and the author is neither of Welsh ancestry as he pretends, nor resident in Wales. We understand, incidentally, that the sales so far have been very low.
Jim Perrin lies when he says that our sister – the main character in the book – was his “lover, wife and friend of forty years” and his questionable account of their short time together is so full of provable falsehoods that in our opinion he should be ashamed to have written it.
Jac, our sister, who was weakened with cancer, intended to tell him to leave her house – there were many reasons for her disillusionment, culminating in the author’s assault on her son, and she was making her plans accordingly: sadly she died of her cancer and Jim Perrin quite shamelessly exploits that too in “West:”.
His story is, to our knowledge, so much flim-flam and the version he gives of his relationship with our sister in this book is so extravagantly exaggerated and inaccurate as to make “one gasp and stretch one’s eyes” (with apologies to Hilaire Belloc).
All in all we do not think that this is a merit-worthy book, compiled as it is from much of his previously published work, and with copious quotations.
The exception to our negative criticism must be the sections of text which deal with the author’s son, Will, and his death by suicide and we would not wish to trespass on that ground.
That apart, the usual cast of wild creatures is of course much in evidence – to please the nature lovers – and the author’s soulful yearnings for his lost Welsh roots are bound to appeal to those who love Wales and all things Welsh.
It is however not the truth. He does not have the Welsh ancestry which he has, over many years, so convincingly proclaimed, and his paternal “Denbighshire Welsh” grandfather, born in Salford in 1889 (“from the Great War, in which my father’s father had died.”) did NOT die in “the Great War” as described in the book but returned, and lived until 1945, when according to his death certificate he died at home in Oldham with his wife “in attendance”.
Jim Perrin has written of his “triad of catastrophies”, the third part of which was his much self-publicised diagnosis with terminal lung cancer. Except – this would seem to have been yet another example of his “creative” writing. We have been told that he does not have cancer at all.
Given all the above we feel that the book is not honest but merely a vehicle for this author’s ego and we shall not recommend it. Should you wish to find out more we have written our blog to set the record straight. To read it, please google: