Synopses & Reviews
Paul Kelly is the manager of a successful pub in southeast London, but his life has become a constant drunken binge since his wife's death. When Paul's brother Johnny is murdered, their mother calls him home to the town in Ireland where he grew up. There, Paul and his friend Bumper Reilly undertake a wild, funny investigation into Johnny's death, which forces Paul to confront the legacy of his past and the direction of his future.
This "fine first novel," as Neil Plakey wrote in The Chicago Tribune, is "filled with the simple comedy of everyday life and warm moments of tenderness . . . Hard to put down and harder still to forget."
"Exciting and explosive . . . As though Angela's Ashes
had been crossed with the novels of Cormac McCarthy."—Colm Toibin
"Written in pungent, slangy prose . . . Part detective story, part coming-of-age novel."—Erik Burns, The New York Times Book Review
"Sweeney paints his landscape with the eye of a Constable and the ear of a thief . . . [This book] leaves a thirst for more."—Jonathan Levi, Los Angeles Times
"Sweeney's language fuses resiual Gaelic lilt with staccato rapster rhythms and obscenities. The MTV generation takes over the Irish novel and makes it startlingly new."—Entertainment Weekly
"[A] fine first novel . . . filled with the simple comedy of everyday life and warm moments of tenderness . . . hard to put down and hard still to forget."—Neil Plakey, The Chicago Tribune
"Powerfully, sometimes brutally direct . . . [Sweeney] has fashioned a satisfying tale of quest and comeuppance."—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"Grim, angry, profane, and entirely convincing . . . Paul's salvation, when it comes, is hard-won and persuasive. Like everything else in this book, it has an authenticity found only in the work of first-rate writers."—Kirkus Reviews
"In the character of Paul Kelly, Sweeney has carefully traced the psychological parameters of a man divided by pain . . . It is a testament to Sweeney's authorial skill that Kelly somehow remains a sympathetic character . . . The range of well-drawn lesser characters . . . aid in making the Kelly family's tragedy feel achingly real."—Detroit Free Press
About the Author
works as a freelance journalist and has contributed to The Irish Times, The Sunday Tribune
, and Irish Press
, among others. He has been shortlisted for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award and has won the Cootehill Literary Award. In 1995, he was joint winner of the European Story Award. He lives in Dublin.