Tipperary: A Novel

Frank Delaney, Author . Random $26.95 (445p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6523-3

Seventy-five years after the death of Charles O’Brien, an Anglo-Irish itinerant healer and occasional journalist born in 1860, his memoir is discovered in a trunk. The result is this touching novel from Ireland author Delaney, in which the manuscript’s putative discoverer adds his own unreliable commentary to the fictive Charles’s probably embellished perceptions—making for a glowing composite of a volatile Ireland. Charles claims to treat Oscar Wilde on his deathbed; advise a young James Joyce (“When you write... be sure to make it complicated. It will retain people’s attention”); tell an appreciative Yeats the story of Finn MacCool; and inadvertently bring down Charles Stewart Parnell. He also meets the founders and leaders of Sinn Fein and the IRA, and will, as will Ireland itself, entwine his fate with theirs. And at 40, never-married Charles meets the love of his life, 18-year-old April Burke, an Englishwoman who repeatedly spurns him and exploits him, but who has a large role to play in his life. The narrator claims that his interest in Charles and April is academic, but he eventually confesses that he suspects their stories have some personal relationship to his own. Delaney’s confident storytelling and quirky characterizations enrich a fascinating and complex period of Irish history. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 07/09/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 445 pages - 978-0-8129-7594-9
Open Ebook - 349 pages - 978-1-58836-657-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-3370-9
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