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The Talk of the Town by Ardal O'Hanlon
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The Talk of the Town (1998)

by Ardal O'Hanlon

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
It was a fairly well-written, decent read. There were moments when I thoroughly identified with one of the main characters, but by the end, as intended, I thoroughly disliked the narrator. My biggest complaint is the lack of clarity in the timeline. ( )
  ELiz_M | Apr 6, 2013 |
From the start of this book I had difficulties reading it. Style and choice of words were one cause. The other was, that it is such a depressing book.

Maybe when the circumstances had been different, if I could have been more focussed, I could have wrestled myself through it.
But that wasn't the case. There are more books to be read so I decided to stop waste my time trying.

P.S. I am not going to rate the book with the one star I wanted to give it, because GR seems to count stars ad 'read this book'. And I do not want it to go to my 2011 read books, since I did not read it.
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book tells the story of Patrick Sculley, an Irish lad moving from a small village where he knew everyone and everyone knew him to the city of Dublin where he was anonymous like so many others stuggling to make a mark in life.
Initially I liked Patrick, his was a character I could well imagine. He was stuck in a dead end job while many of his contemparies had gone onto college and unlike his best friend 'Balls' was not the most eloquent around strangers and with members of the opposite sex in particular, he was the sort of bloke that rather slipped through the cracks of society. I could relate with some of his experiences when he returned home to his family and village chiefly because of the similarities in my own life when I left home at 16.However, as the story progressed he became more and more dislikeable self-obsessed, homophobic, sexist, violent drunkard and ultimately self-pitying. He somehow believed that life owed him something rather than going out and grabbing it for himself. In truth the sort of person I dislike the most.
That said the story, for me, was always compelling and I certainly did not expect the way it ended. It is not a book that will live that long in the memory but as a comedian/celebrity's book it is one of the better ones that I have read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 28, 2013 |
As a huge fan of Father Ted, I was curious to see how O'Hanlan's book compared to his on-screen persona of Father Dougal.

Patrick Scully is a young man from a small Irish town. Killeeny. Despite a promising start, Patrick screws up his Leaving Cert and is not sure where he is heading. His best friend, and idol, is "Balls" O'Reilly, studying in Dublin and definitely more successful with women. Patrick is in a problematic relationship with Francesca, a uni student. He doesn't connect well with her, his envy driving a wedge between them.

The book has two narrators, Patrick, and his girlfriend's diary entries. The timelines are out of sync, letting the reader in on the full story piece by piece, keeping you hooked up until the final chapter. Their narrative styles are rather different, Patrick is a young, frustrated man, as the reader we read between the lines. Francesca feels she can be more honest in her diary, we read about her reservations towards her boyfriend, who isn't quite what she is looking for.

What drew me to this book were the tone and its realistic setting, O'Hanlan recreates life in '80s Ireland and the problems and frustrations of being young. The balance of the two narrators works well, too. ( )
  soffitta1 | Jan 28, 2012 |
I think the non-American title (the real title, Talk of the Town) is much more apt for this novel, which is about a lot of things. The topic that fairly screamed at me was the notion that where we grow up tries and often fails to shape us, but there are those stuck in the glory days of youth and mistake who they were as a young adult for who they will be as they mature and move away.

In it's own way this book was like an updated, Irish version of The Catcher in the Rye, which is one of my favorite books. There is depravity, there is insanity, there are coming-of-age stories, there are mistakes and confusion and depression. At first the pure depravity that fairly oozes out of this book surprised me and put me off. But I grew to really appreciate the characters. Not like them though, they are not very lovable. In fact they are so utterly human and real that it's hard not to identify the characters with people you've met.

All in all a very good and under appreciated (at least in the USA) book about the insanity of modern life. Patrick Scully and Holden Caulfield should have a chat (or a crack, as Patrick would say). One of the lesser read 1001 Books that made both lists and is the debut novel by an actor from one of my favorite Irish comedies, Father Ted. ( )
  Ambrosia4 | Jan 29, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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For Melanie, for everything
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I met Plunkett McKenna on Parnell Square when I was waiting for the bus home to Castlecock.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Knick Knack Paddy Whack is the American name for the book called The Talk of the Town in Europe.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0340693096, Paperback)

Patrick Scully used to be his school's best striker, but now he's just a frustrated 18-year-old working in Dublin. Balls O'Reilly is getting all the attention, even from Scully's girlfriend. A weekend of drinking and fighting ensures that Scully's horrific secret will make him the talk of the town.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:15 -0400)

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