The Salesman

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9780099268383: The Salesman

This "gripping and moving" novel, as The Guardian has noted, offers "a taut, expertly crafted plot" while it likewise "captures brilliantly changes of mood and unexpected quirks of behavior." As The Salesman opens, it is the hottest summer in Dublin's history, and Billy Sweeney has more than the weather on his mind. His daughter lies in a coma in the hospital, the result of a mysterious attack at the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that terrible night, frustrated by officialdom, and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands, but when his plans go spectacularly wrong, the results are terrifying, often hilarious, and in the end, unforgettable.

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Review:

"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

From the Publisher:

"Mesmerizing...The honesty and bravery of O'Connor's writing make emotions authentic and redemption almost credible." --The Observer

"Gripping and moving...A taut, expertly crafted plot...He captures brilliantly changes of mood and unexpected quirks of behavior." --The Guardian

"Excellent...brilliant...The book, of its kind, is very well done." --Irish Independent

"[A] superbly written novel...The story of how Billy sets about trying to avenge his daughter is so compelling and horribly believable that you'll be turning down all invitations in order to sit indoors and read." --Literary Review

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s Dublin, June 1995, the hottest summer since records began. But Billy Sweeney, a middle-aged salesman with a failed marriage, a faltering career and a tumbledown house, has more than weather on his mind. His youngest daughter lies in a coma in hospital following a mysterious attack on the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that hot, violent night, frustrated by officialdom and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099268383

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It s Dublin, June 1995, the hottest summer since records began. But Billy Sweeney, a middle-aged salesman with a failed marriage, a faltering career and a tumbledown house, has more than weather on his mind. His youngest daughter lies in a coma in hospital following a mysterious attack on the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that hot, violent night, frustrated by officialdom and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099268383

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Salesman, Joseph O'Connor, It's Dublin, June 1995, the hottest summer since records began. But Billy Sweeney, a middle-aged salesman with a failed marriage, a faltering career and a tumbledown house, has more than weather on his mind. His youngest daughter lies in a coma in hospital following a mysterious attack on the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that hot, violent night, frustrated by officialdom and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099268383

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