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Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland

Carry Me Down (original 2006; edition 2006)

by M.J. Hyland

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8113611,231 (3.36)85
Title:Carry Me Down
Authors:M.J. Hyland
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2006), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, Booker, Ireland, 1970s

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Carry Me Down by M. J. Hyland (2006)


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I was instantly engaged and finished the book quite quickly. John, a mentally handicapped young boy lives in a rural area in Ireland with his grandmother, mother, and father. His father, disappointed in life and the circumstances in which he finds himself and his family, assaults his mother, who tells Michael’s family to leave. They do and take up residence in a dreary, low income housing project in Dublin, where John is beset by bullies and worry over his mother who has fallen into a deep depression. Eventually, John is sent to a juvenile detention centre but within days is released into the care of his parents who have been invited back to live with John’s grandmother. The story ends flatly with significant unresolved issues which will return to haunt them all. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
John is a 12 year-old Irish boy living in a struggling family (struggling emotionally and financially). This book is told from his perspective. He is perhaps overly attached to his mother, distant from his father and detached from others. He is picked on at school for both his unusually large size and an incident that occurs later in th book.

My rating is a 2.5. This is not my kind of book. While it was a quick and fairly easy read, I did not enjoy the story, the characters or the over the top Freudian symbolism. The use of the adolescent male perspective was different and made you think about what was real vs. what was the boy's interpretation. Overall, I found it disturbing and unpleasant and it is not book i'd recommend to my friends. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Written from the perspective of an 11year old boy, this novel explores what life was like for an adolescent in rural Ireland. The narrator is very unreliable and the emotions in the book are stretched. I personally didn't care much for this but am sure others will think it's fantastic. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
The book was written in 2006 by Hyland, a female author born in London of Irish parents. She was born in 1968 so that makes her 38 at the time she wrote this book. Maybe she was influenced by Edna O'Brien's book. The story is of an 11 year old soon to be 12 boy who lives with his father, mother and grandmother in Gorey, Ireland. He is different than other children. John Egan is big for his age. He is an only child and he is fascinated with the Guinness Book of World Records and would like to visit Niagara. I thought the book was interesting. I found it engaging and easy to read. The flawed characters were interesting. The short bits of reading helped make the reading go fast. I do think the author may have overdid the freudian stuff and that in 1970's there might have been less emphasis on Freudian and more on interpersonal and family relationships so perhaps her psychological stuff was a bit off. Asperger's really wasn't the thing then either but the character of John sure was more autistic spectrum. I suppose he really was just neurotic because his parents were a mess. I think the author failed to develop some points of the story. I thought page 100, "My head, as though filled with helium has nothing in it to carry me down to rest, to dark, down to sleep. " (referring to the title) never got fully developed. *****potential spoiler**** Yet, in the scene where the mother can't sleep, John is seen trying to assist his mother to the dark, down to sleep.****spoiler over***** I give the story 3.5 stars. I think that I will remember this story. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
I really like Hyland's writing, though I'm not so keen on this book. I feel like "Carry Me Down" is strongly connected to "This Is How," which I loved with complete abandon.

Her spare sentences are frankly compelling, even when the characters and plot seem to be lost along a path all their own. ( )
  usefuljack | May 17, 2013 |
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Stewart Andrew Muir

(if only there were more like you)
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It is January, a dark Sunday in winter, and I sit with may mother and father at the kitchen table.
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John Egan is a misfit, a 12 year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant who insists on the ridiculous truth. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of Records and faith in his ability to detect when adults are lying, John remains hopeful despite the unfortunate cards life deals him.… (more)

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Canongate Books

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