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The Salesman (1998)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312204310, Paperback)"A Good Salesman can sell anything." So says the protagonist of Joseph O'Connor's remarkable third novel, who is selling nothing less than a justification to commit murder. A divorced, middle-aged recovering alcoholic, Billy Sweeney is in a world of trouble. His beloved younger daughter was brutally beaten during an attempted robbery and now lies comatose in a Dublin hospital; worse, Donal Quinn, the ringleader of the gang who put her there, has escaped from prison before his trial, and the police can't find him. Then one day, Sweeney spots a disguised Quinn in an electronics store. He considers calling the police--even goes so far as dialing the number--before "a thought occurred to me, as clear as the moment when a migraine lifts." The bereaved salesman decides to take justice into his own hands. What follows is a clever, at times terrifying game of cat and mouse as Sweeney first stalks Quinn and then catches him--with wildly unexpected results.
Though The Salesman has elements of a noir-ish thriller, it is, first and foremost, an examination of love. Written in the form of a journal from Sweeney to his comatose daughter, the book leapfrogs back and forth in time, chronicling Sweeney's courtship and troubled marriage to Grace Lawrence, his alcoholism, and his eventual divorce--even as it describes his hunt for Quinn. The love between friends, between a man and a woman, and between a father and a child are all poignantly limned here; what sets The Salesman apart, however, is the relationship that develops between Sweeney and his nemesis. O'Connor has written a novel that brims with emotion while avoiding sentimentality. Moving, disturbing, at times grimly humorous, this is Irish fiction at its best. --Alix Wilber
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:48 -0400)
A young woman is beaten into a coma during a store robbery in Dublin and one of the robbers escapes justice. So her father, salesman Bill Sweeney, takes the law into his hands. He tracks the robber through Dublin's underworld, abducts and torments him. But the robber turns the tables on his captor. By the author of Cowboys and Indians.
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