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Brian Moore (1) (1921–1999)

Author of The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

For other authors named Brian Moore, see the disambiguation page.

31+ Works 5,347 Members 100 Reviews 18 Favorited

About the Author

Brian Moore, 1921 - 1999 Brian Moore was born in Belfast on August 25, 1921 to Doctor James Bernard Moore and Eileen McFadden. He attended St. Malachy's College, a Catholic school, where the students where beaten on the hands daily. He left the college without a School Leaving Certificate because show more he failed Math. In 1941, a bomb damaged the family home, so they moved to a house on Camden Street. A year later, his father died. In 1942, he joined the National Fire Service, but knew that he wanted to be a writer. Moore knew some French, so he was hired by the British Ministry of War Transport to go as a port official to Algiers, North Africa. Afterwards, he traveled to Italy, France, and after the war, Warsaw (1945), Spain, Canada (1948), the United States and England, finally settling in California. Moore immigrated to Canada in 1948, where he worked as a proofreader and reporter for the Montreal Gazette. In 1951, he published his first story in the Northern Review and married Jacqueline Sirois, a fellow journalist. His only child, Michael, was born on November 24, 1953. He split with his wife in 1964 and then married Jean Denney, who he stayed married to until his death. Moore published "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" (1955), "The Feast of Lupercal" (1957) and "The Emperor of Ice Cream" (1966), which is his most autobiographical novel. He recounts his school experiences, as well as what is was like during the bombing. In the 1990's, he wrote political fables and four novels. "Lies of Silence" is a thriller set in Belfast and was a more political statement than the previous novels. It was nominated for the Booker Prize and was his bestselling book. Several of his books were made into films such as "The Luck of Ginger Coffey," "Catholics," "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" and "The Temptation of Eileen Hughes" was adapted for television. Moore received many awards, which included the Governor General's Award in 1961 for "The Luck of Ginger Coffey" and again in 1975 for "The Great Victorian Collection," which also won the James Tait Black Award in England. He was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1987 for "The Colour of Blood" and again in 1990 for "Lies of Silence." In July 1987, he conferred an honorary doctorate by Queen's University, Belfast. His film "Catholics" received the W.H. Smith Award in 1973 and the Peabody Award in 1974. In 1999, Brian Moore died at his home in Malibu, California. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Brian Moore

Black Robe (1985) 555 copies
Lies of Silence (1990) 509 copies
The Statement (1984) 489 copies
The Magician's Wife (1998) 443 copies
The Colour of Blood (1987) 276 copies
Catholics (1972) 260 copies
The Doctor's Wife (1976) 232 copies
The Mangan Inheritance (1979) 225 copies
No Other Life (1972) 198 copies
I am Mary Dunne (1968) 185 copies
Cold Heaven (1983) 166 copies
The Luck of Ginger Coffey (1960) 158 copies
The Emperor of Ice Cream (1965) 114 copies
An Answer from Limbo (1962) 82 copies
Canada (1963) 78 copies
Torn Curtain [1966 film] (1966) — Screenwriter — 78 copies
The Feast of Lupercal (1957) 71 copies
Fergus (1970) 68 copies
Black Robe [1991 film] (1991) — Screenplay — 47 copies
The Revolution Script (1971) 34 copies
Sailor's Leave (1951) 3 copies
Two Stories 1 copy
The Sight 1 copy
The Executioners (1951) 1 copy
The Luck of Ginger Coffey [1964 film] (1964) — Original novel/Screenplay — 1 copy
Cold Heaven [1991 film] — Author — 1 copy

Associated Works

Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear (1995) — Contributor — 313 copies
The Pleasure of Reading (1992) — Contributor — 186 copies
Sixteen Short Novels (1985) — Contributor — 172 copies
The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (1999) — Contributor — 150 copies
Great Canadian Short Stories (1971) — Contributor — 53 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1967 (1967) — Contributor — 27 copies
The Statement [2003 film] (2004) — Original novel — 26 copies
The Oxford Book of Canadian Ghost Stories (1990) — Contributor — 19 copies
POLAND 1946 (1995) — Introduction — 17 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern Canadian Short Stories (1982) — Contributor — 12 copies
Not to be Taken at Night (1981) — Contributor — 6 copies
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne [1987 film] — Original novel — 2 copies


Common Knowledge



Other reviewers here have mentioned that "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" is an extremely sad book, and they're hardly wrong to say so. What I really enjoyed about this book, though, was that Judy -- though she herself might not appreciate our overly familiar tone -- is that she isn't merely the victim of a cold, unwelcoming world. Yes, the author portrays Belfast as a small, rather boring place riven by social divisions, and Ms. Hearne herself is the product of an idea of upper-class femininity that was, as of the fifties, was rapidly becoming outmoded. Her ladies' education hasn't gotten her too far in life. While forgoing marriage to take care of an ailing aunt turns out to be a disastrous choice, the author is understanding enough of his protagonist to make clear that there were few good options available to Judy's only close relation. Even so, Ms. Hearne herself has her faults. She's inherited the biases natural to her class and refused to examine them. She seems stuck in mental and emotional patterns that she's either unwilling or unable to break. She daydreams but refuses to act. You can call the characters in this novel who find her dull or faintly ridiculous unkind, but they're handly wrong. Judy, and her life, are terribly boring, and she doesn't really do enough to change it. Predictably enough, things end badly.

Mary Gordon suggests that "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" was written, as was much of the Irish literature of this period, under the star of Joyce, and while there is the stray free-flowing description here along with a few thematic similarities, I think that Moore's novel is really an altogether different sort of creature. His prose here is economical, almost cutting: a far cry from Jim's more lyrical moods. Lovers of period slang will enjoy returned Yankified returned Irishman James Madden's New York dialect, which is rendered so perfectly it often seems like he just stepped out of a film noir. His own truncated, spectacularly unsuccessful courtship of the titular character is, by way of closing, another one of this novel's principal attractions. Less a folie a deux than a dramatic mismatch of mercenary personal interests, it provides the perfect opportunity for the author to demonstrate what can happen when you remain trapped in your own badly calibrated perceptions. A rom-com in reverse, Judy and Jim's attempt at a love affair ends badly, too. It's not for the clinically depressed or the unshakably optimistic, but this one's a very good novel nonetheless.
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TheAmpersand | 25 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
Interesting enough novel that seems to have been constrained by the true story upon which it has been based. There is no stylistic attempt to exaggerate here.
The greatest magician in Europe is cajoled by Napoleon III to impress the marabouts and tribal leaders of Algeria in a cynical attempt to prove the superiority of Christian Europe, in this case, in the realm of divine influence through magical powers.
The most perceptive of the characters is Emmeline, the magician's wife, a woman who is relegated at home taking second place to her husband's work on improving his repertoire of deceptive skills and his inventions.
It is she who is not deceived by the French calculation in improving their prospects at an outright subjugation of all Algeria, nor by the naked ambition of the political and military personnel involved in the ruse.
It is not a spectacular novel, but it is well written, it is unflagging in pace and historically interesting as a footnote to Algeria's troubled relationship with her former colonial overlord.
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ivanfranko | 10 other reviews | Aug 28, 2023 |
The kind of quietly devastating book that you finish and then need to just sit and stare at a blank wall for a moment while saying "oof" softly to yourself. Brian Moore's portrait of the chronically lonely Judith Hearne, a 40-something spinster clinging desperately to her fading gentility in 1950s Belfast is a well-observed one: a bleak look at woman imprisoning herself in a grisaille world.
siriaeve | 25 other reviews | Jul 15, 2023 |
Honestly a disappointment. I was expecting so much more from this.

First of all, I hated that the switches between first and third person were so sudden and unannounced. Not even a change in typeset like italics to denote it.

Secondly, while the plot itself is very intriguing, I honestly just felt let down by the ending. I felt like there was much more that could be done.

That being said I did like the fact that Emmeline falls in love with a culture outside of her own and how she views the people of Algeria. And Moore doesn't fall trap to describing female characters in strange ways as some male authors tend to do.… (more)
viiemzee | 10 other reviews | Feb 20, 2023 |



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