Synopses & Reviews
Jarleth Prendergast is an ex-pat Irishman, an aging punk rocker, a film snob, a copy-shop employee, a dime-store intellectual, and a truly desperate man. His marriage is in tatters and his career as an avant-garde claymation artist is heading nowhere. As the book opens, Jarleth receives a letter from Irish lawyer Sean Reynolds about a possible inheritance from his Aunt Lucy, and promptly falls into fits of delusion as hilarious as they are utterly pathetic. Certain beyond reason that this "cash fuel injection" will turn his life around and casting himself in heroic and sentimental cliches of the cinema, Jarleth enters on a course of rampant self-destruction, narrating it all in his head to his new best friend: Sean, the Irish lawyer. Mr. Dynamite is an extraordinary first novel that melds an Irish writer's high style and penchant for belly laughs with the grotesque smash-and-grab energy of pre-9/11 New York, making for a mad, sad, and profoundly funny book.
"An unruly Irish ex-pat and aging punk rocker living in New York City squalor hopes to improve his pathetic existence upon word of an unexpected inheritance in this first novel by expat Irishman Brosnan. Jarleth Prendergast is desperately in need of the money to produce his experimental puppet film, but predictably it slips through his fingers. The lawyer who informs him by letter of his inheritance suddenly dies, but Jarleth can't let him go, narrating his adventures to the dead man in rambling, whisky-sodden stream-of-consciousness prose. A few weeks later, Jarleth is informed that a new will has appeared and that his bequest is now a bone china teapot. But Jarleth is already embarked on a world-class bender, kicked out of his apartment by his wife when she discovers proof of his infidelity, and obsessed with murdering the Frenchman whom his pathological liar girlfriend says raped her. The misshapen plot careens forward as Jarleth takes up secret residence at the Kwik Copy where he works, buys a gun and stalks the Frenchman. His determination is maniacally strong, but like everything else in his life, the project is doomed to end in failure. Brosnan has a touch of Irvine Welsh's brilliant recklessness, and Jarleth can be blisteringly funny, but his voice isn't consistently engaging enough to carry this shaggy tale." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Brosnan has a good time relating Jarleth's expletive-laced rantings in all their pretentious fury....A sardonic little bomb of a book, ripe with black comedy and shivering with anger." Kirkus Reviews
"Mr. Dynamite is one of the funniest books I've read in the past several years." Harvey Pekar, author of American Splendor
"If I had a nickel for every stewed Irish saint I've sat drinking with in a New York City bar...I'd give them all to Meredith Brosnan for writing Mr. Dynamite. Roaringly funny and howlingly sad, it reminds me of A Fairytale of New York both the J.P. Donleavy novel and Shane MaGowan's boozy Christmas carol." John Strausbaugh, author of Rock Til You Drop
"If J.P. Donleavy, Flann O'Brien, and Frank McCourt combined to write a novel, they would be fortunate is they could invent one as funny and Irish as Meredith Brosnan's. A hilarious story that deserves a large audience." Finbarr McCabe, author of The Great Famine