From Lisa McInerney, hailed by The Irish Times as "arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today", comes The Glorious Heresies, a searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland's postcrash society.
When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone. The consequences of this unplanned murder connect four misfits struggling against their meager circumstances. Ryan is a 15-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose feud with his next-door neighbor threatens to ruin his family. Georgie is a sex worker who halfheartedly joins a born-again movement to escape her profession and drug habit. And Jimmy Phelan, the most fearsome gangster in the city and Maureen's estranged son, finds that his mother's bizarre attempts at redemption threaten his entire organization.
Biting and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places.
©2016 Lisa McInerney (P)2016 Random House Audio
Winner of the 2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Desmond Elliott Prize
Shortlisted for Best Newcomer at the Irish Book Awards
Longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize
The Irish Times March Book of the Month
"The Glorious Heresies is a blisteringly good debut which manifests the true coming of a brilliant new energy in Irish fiction. It's a love story which captures perfectly the feeling of what it is to be young and bowled over by the beauty of another; it's the story of a city, savage and hilarious and coursing deeper and deeper, with every page into that city's dark veins. It's so much more. It's talent, undeniable and aglow." (Belinda McKeon)
"The Glorious Heresies heralds the arrival of a glorious, foul-mouthed, fizzing new talent." (The Sunday Times)
This plot is like a rushing stream. It just does not stop.
The main characters--Ryan, Tony, Maureen, Georgie, even Jimmy--are all deeply flawed, and yet I rooted for each of them. Even the weak characters have a kind of defiant strength that pulls the story along.
The butterfly effect and the half-mad crone are time-honored literary traditions. But Lisa McInerney's touch is so light that you almost don't notice the story's scaffolding until the near-end.
Many current authors seem incapable of ending novels gracefully. The body of the story may be good enough, but the conclusions seem thrown together.
Not here. The denoument is nothing I would have imagined. It rounds out the story like a good after-dinner brandy. Oh, and pay attention to Maureen's coda.
Shelley Atkinson's narration is pitch-perfect. She even sounds true as she does the angry and the weepy passages.
Here's hoping for more stories from McInerney. And if they're narrated by Atkinson, so much the better.
If you want authentic Ireland voice, this is the book for you. There was so much use of the F word, I couldn't get past it. I couldn't figure out where I could even listen to this book unless I had headphones on.
I quit after about half hour.
It had good reviews but in my world this is not reL. way too much derogatory language and in a City Cork accent, which even the Irish can't understand.
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