When we finalised the original draft of Jim Perrin Climbs the Property Ladder and quoted the words he had written about his first son, we were unaware of the back-story of this son’s formative years and only after the text was initially posted were we told that the author’s account in West was, in great part, untrue. So we revised the draft to include the information given us concerning the young woman who was for several years his third wife and an exemplary step-mother to his child: although, and it is noteworthy, a young woman about whom — after all that time — there is in the book not one single word.
No sooner however was the revised version posted than we learned that other sections of the book which dealt with the child’s earliest up-bringing were also seriously and dishonestly misleading: until then we knew only what our sister, Jac, had told us about Jim Perrin’s past, which was of course what he had chosen to tell her — and, after she died, what we later read of his ‘story’, as described in West. (The book claimed by one of his reviewers to be ‘as near autobiographical as Jim Perrin had written’… )
We are now happy to make good this omission as we realise that by the lacuna it might seem that we were acquiescing in the self-interested version written by the author; and we do not wish to give any credit to his lies, nor to allow his account to stand or remain unchallenged.
In the absence of real facts (and Jim Perrin has chosen, as policy, to be opaque) those who read this book and believe his falsehoods may feel admiration for him; those who already know and admire his work will be pre-disposed to believe him. Yet it is this lack of any genuine and substantiated information about the author which has empowered him over the years, and enabled him to manipulate (and re-invent) his personal history.
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We have recently been told by one who, as they say ‘has it on very good authority’, that his descriptions of those early years in his son’s life, and in particular the first ‘two years’ (as he wrote), were in essence dishonest: in view of all we discovered about this man during his relationship with our sister and, after she died, what we continued to discover in the course of compiling information for our posts, we find the latest disclosures unsurprising.
We have said elsewhere that in his writing Jim Perrin frequently displays ‘a willingness to subvert the truth to his own ends’, and we have noted the tendency to air-brush from accounts of his life those whom he finds it inconvenient to acknowledge: they are usually innocents who do not fit his imagined scenarios and the concomitant exaggeration of his role within them.
His conflation of various events and time-lines, of his own and others’ experiences, is in our opinion blatantly devised to deceive: but actually sinister is his malice when, in retrospect, he writes revengefully of those whom he wishes to hurt. We think he does so on both personal and professional levels and in this he is Machiavellian: there are dozens of examples throughout his writings over the years.
One of those ‘air-brushed’ from his account was his third wife — step-mother to his son. What man — or what mind — could work in this way? To disregard, in relating the story of this young son’s life, one who had been crucial to his well-being for so many years is nothing less than shameful. But far worse, in our view, is the description of his son’s mother. That he should have written of her in a way so scurrilous and untrue is beyond the pale. We have said in earlier posts that implication is one of Jim Perrin’s most favoured ‘tools of trade’; but he is also ‘clever’ and spiteful, and in only a few well-chosen words he will damn: as well as using — without scruple — the Lie Direct.
And he did, shamelessly, lie about his former wife. He wrote of her:
‘When she had taken the decision to become pregnant, I was told the baby would be adopted if I didn’t stay. By the time he was two, she was gone anyway, and a benign old Family Court judge at a hearing in Caernarfon had granted me custody — an unusual decision in those days.’ and, elsewhere in the book: ‘But remember that I had care of Will from being three weeks old, sole legal custody of him when he was two.’
The ‘implication’ of deliberate entrapment; of emotional blackmail; of maternal inadequacy; and, finally, of desertion, in these so carefully worded passages is a cruel caricature of what actually occurred: the callous accusation (by a man who in our opinion is completely controlling) that she deserted her baby is false.
In the detailed narrative of how he raised his young son from a baby, by himself, he implies and he lies and he tells a ‘story’ which simply is not true. He did not have ‘sole responsibility for him’: and indeed he was as sporadic a father during his son’s young childhood as he was, in a pattern well-established of concurrent relationships (and frequent unsatisfactorily explained absences), with all his successive children; and as we have written previously, each had a different mother! Although — and it is part of this sorry tale — the young women themselves had at first no idea of each others’ involvement with Jim Perrin …
The vignettes he painted of this child when small are oh so charming; they were written to please, and to create the impression (successfully achieved) that he was the boy’s only parent and sole carer; and while he may in some periods have ‘cared for’ this son in fact he was brought up firstly by his own mother, then by his step-mother as we have explained, and lastly by yet another ‘partner’. By the time he was in his teens he lived again with his own mother, thereafter sharing accommodation with his friends — as frequently young men do.
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Doubtless all these details would not seem so merit-worthy in the book the author was constructing on the basis of his ‘triad of tragedy’; and we who have learned so much during the research for our site and who have revealed so much about Jim Perrin and his behaviour, believe it is fair to say that West is by no means merit nor award worthy*. On the contrary, it contains much material that is purely salacious (sex sells?) and meretricious maundering: as well as his lies; lies; incessant lies…
Perhaps in the circle of his male colleagues he is thought to be ‘one for the ladies’, and sympathetic elderly women may think him to have been unlucky in love (although certainly through no fault of his own… ), but we can see a pattern in which he consistently disparaged those whom he first charmed and attracted and, undeniably, he leaves in his wake profound psychological and emotional damage. It is our opinion, our assessment, that he has been a blight on many lives; and that his own life, we believe — and based on the evidence — has been one of opportunism, deception, coercion, physical violence and betrayal.
The proofs are plentiful and, if necessary, are available.
* It is particularly pleasing to us, Jac’s family that although this distasteful book was entered for the Welsh Book of The Year it was not even long-listed. (And this was in the literary circle where he has been fêted and financially supported for many years!) How shocked he must have been — and how grateful we are to those who judged him…