Confessions of a Shanty Irishman

Narrated by: Marlin May
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook concerns growing up in San Francisco's Mission District in an Irish American immigrant family that loves the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, language, and Jameson's whiskey. The protagonist, Corrigan, comes of age during a time of great cultural changes in the U.S. His grandfather and father appreciate Bing Crosby but are not ready for Elvis. Corrigan's life is reflected through factual and fictional events, from early childhood in a rich Irish culture to the student riots at San Francisco State during the Vietnam War era. He continues a search for identity through drink, romantic love, theatre, and the written word. Many phases of development are examined, from Catholic education in the 50s to the icons that changed music and film: Presley, Dean, and Brando. The audiobook ends with its beginning, an examination of those forgotten Irish immigrants of another time.

©2011 Michael Corrigan (P)2013 Michael Corrigan
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A Memoir that Steals Your Heart

I was unsure about listening to "Confessions of a Shanty Irishman," because I thought the whole thing would be narrated in an Irish brogue, which, at times, can be difficult to understand. However, that is not the case at all. The author, Michael Corrigan, tells his story with honesty and humor, and the narrator, Marlin May, does a great job of pulling you into the story with his voice changes for characters. As the book progresses, one cares more and more deeply for this unique family. When the narrator does need to use the Irish brogue, usually when Michael's father is involved, it is delightful, easily understood, and spot on. I was thinking the book would be set in New York, from which many Irish memoirs emanate, but it was a pleasant surprise to have it set in San Francisco, and to learn of the tales and tribulations of an Irish family on the West Coast. Overall, the book is a fascinating tale of an ethnic minority that is usually stereotyped, but it delves deeper into the thoughts and emotions of a family who clearly love each other, even with all their imperfections and eccentricities.