‘Curtin is one of Ireland’s best writers.’
‘Michael Curtin’s first and very funny novel gives a good impression of being a free-wheeling, rumbustious shaggy-dog story while actually being a carefully structured and ordered work of considerable craftsmanship... the story grips and entertains until the last page.’
British Book News
‘I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Curtin’s debut and look forward to his second novel.’
The Irish Press
The hero of this wonderfully funny first novel is a young Irishman, Billy Whelan, who one lonely, dinnerless Christmas day in London, in that desert stretch of afternoon when the pubs are shut and Kilburn High Road dead as a tomb, huddles in his rented room and in desperation answers an ad in one of his collection of Screen Monthlies. He soon finds himself in a deep and confessional correspondence with a box number in New York and by the time we meet him next, in Limerick, married and with two small children, he is president of Fart International, an organisation with American money in the bank but as yet no members but himself.
How Billy collects the handful of eccentrics who are to be the members of this ego-boosting club and how this activity meshes in with his career as an ice-cream hawker and his marriage to Breda — which is bedevilled by his enthusiasm for pubs and scant though affectionate relationship with his children — is the stuff of this refreshingly unusual tale.
Fart International, of which the true origin remains obscure until the book ends, is both an absurd joke and an answer to a psychological need. Through it the fatherless Billy and its secret founder re-imagine themselves and absolve the loneliness and the failures of the past — a past which for Billy holds not just the desolation of that Christmas day but his imagined humiliation at the hands of four schoolfellows — Higgins, Murphy, Nicky and Mark Brown.
How Billy, buoyed up by the lunatic fraternity of Fart International and by warm memories of the old Irishman, Hogan, in whose beery glow he spent many hours in London, confronts these ghosts at an Old Boy's Dinner, and how Breda (from the classy end of town, but persuasively courted and won by the engaging Billy) gets her washing machine and a step nearer to a conventional home are two more threads in this finally triumphant tale.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Michael Curtin was born in Limerick in 1942 and is best known for his novel The Plastic Tomato Cutter (Zondervan, 1991), set in his native city. He is also the author of the novels The Self-Made Men (Penguin Books, 1980), The Replay (Sphere Books, 1981), The League Against Christmas (HarperCollins, 1989), The Cove Shivering Club (Zondervan, 1996) and Sing (Zondervan, 2001). The plots of his work tend toward the comic and range from the farcical to the dark and understated.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001808043
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR006530273
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/05/1982, 1982. Book Condition: used-good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140057188
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/05/1982, 1982. Book Condition: used-good. - This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140057188
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/05/1982, 1982. Book Condition: used-good. - This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140057188
Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # G0140057188I5N00