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The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
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The Glorious Heresies (2015)

by Lisa McInerney

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3036336,938 (3.71)105
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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was tough to get through and I put it down for a long time. Cork in the 1980's was not a very friendly place--our characters go through a lot of crazy, intense situations and it's a little hard to read about sometimes. That being said, McInerney's writing is exquisite. She weaves all of these character's stories together so, so well. I would definitely recommend this one. ( )
  BurntFiction | Dec 5, 2017 |
This was definitely a gritting book to read. McInerney's writing style is guaranteed to leave you with clear imageries throughout the entire book; it seriously feels like you're there with the characters as a ghost, there but uninvolved.

Maureen Phelan starts off the book, and from that point forward, you've been shoved into the world of four other individuals that somehow all connect to one another. A sex addict, a drug dealer, an abusive alcoholic, and a gangster. Hard situations arise throughout the course of the book that can be a bit of a hard read, and a bit triggering to people who could relate.

Overall, amazing writing, along with the authenticity of life in book format. ( )
  thursbest | Aug 13, 2017 |
I loved this winner of the 2016 Bailey's Prize. Its complex and exquisite characters are all connected in one way or another with the murder which opens the book. Grandmother Maureen Phelan has just (accidently?) bashed in the head of an unidentified intruder. She calls her son, Jimmy Phelan, Cork crime gang boss, to clean up the mess. He enlists the help of Tony Cusack, a small-time criminal existing on the fringe of Cork's criminal underground trying to raise his children after the death of his wife and while battling an alcohol problem. Tony's oldest son, teenager Ryan, is also a major character as he edges toward a life of crime moving into adulthood. Much of the book deals with his loving relationship with Karine, his girlfriend. Other major characters are Georgie, a former prostitute and drug addict who joins a religious cult after her boyfriend mysteriously disappears, and Tara Duane, Tony Cusack's next door neighbor and nemesis, who is also involved in criminal activities of her own.

The book is dark, for sure, but it is also humorous and touching. It's morally complex, and despite their foibles I was rooting for these people, especially Ryan. McInerney wonderfully depicts her cast of characters--from 70ish Maureen to teenagers Ryan and Karine--and pulls together the dark issues of alcohol and drugs, child abuse and prostitution, poverty and crime. Just don't expect a happy ending.

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | May 25, 2017 |
I got about halfway through this story before calling it quits for good. The first part I breezed through even while I didn't much care for any of the storylines. The jargon isn't easy to put up with. As events began to collide I expected to be pulled more into the story, but it just kept plodding along in a very meh fashion and lost my interest. At this point it's been the better part of a year and I'm done. It's missing something for me. ( )
  cosiari | May 20, 2017 |
Disconnected, disjointed disappointment. ( )
  Faradaydon | May 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
There is no question that McInerney has talent to burn...
 
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He left the boy outside its own front door.
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amazon ca 'He was definitely dead, whoever he was. He wore a once-black jumper and a pair of shiny tracksuit bottoms. The back of his head was cracked and his hair matted, but it had been foxy before that. A tall man, a skinny rake, another string of piss, now departed. She hadn't gotten a look at his face before she flaked him with the Holy Stone and she couldn't bring herself to turn him over.'

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .

Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.
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"One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family"--… (more)

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