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Fork in the Road Paperback – March 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671016741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671016746
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,537,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There is never a dull moment in this charming story of a young Irish-American filmmaker who, while doing research in Dublin, encounters an extraordinary young woman. In a delightful "meet cute" scenario, Colin Coyne feels his pocket being picked in a Dublin pub and captures a tousle-haired colleen, Gina Furey, who bluffs her way out of trouble, but not out of his thoughts. Gina turns out to be a Traveler, part of the Irish gypsy underground. She and her family are criminals--pure trailer trash. Colin falls for her, anyway, and soon she is pregnant ("I use Irish birth control," she tells the stunned Colin. "Five Our Fathers and Five Hail Marys"). Colin smuggles her and her four-year-old daughter into the U.S., where his film career is just starting. Using his liaison with Gina as the basis for a screenplay, he is confounded when she turns out to be truly one of the Furies. Baby Shamus is born, cementing their relationship--Colin made a deathbed promise to his mother never to abandon any child he fathers--but Gina's behavior becomes more and more erratic and violent. In several sadly hilarious scenes, Gina's rapacious relatives descend in droves, at Colin's expense, on Colin's American home, pillaging and pickpocketing at will in the community. One sympathizes with Colin's predicament, as real life proves much more difficult than his imagined screenplay, and one even understands Gina, who is beautiful, sexy, intelligent and talented, but enjoys the chaos of her despicable family and life as a criminal. Hamill (3 Quarters and Throwing 7's) has perfectly captured the trill of an Irish brogue, and he loads the plot with remarkable twists, keeping readers in suspense until the final page of this lively, sad, humorous tale. Agent, Esther Newburg. Movie rights to Barry Levinson. (Feb.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Twenty-five-year-old film director Colin Coyne goes to Dublin to write a screenplay about his alter ego Kieran, an Irish American from New York who goes to Ireland to find the girl of his dreams. Scripting his film as he lives it, Colin discovers that the line between art and life has been erased by Gina Furey, a gypsy he catches trying to pick his pocket in a crowded pub. Soon he's involved in a passionate but ultimately dangerous affair, with consequences that far exceed anything Colin might have imagined. Hamill, a New York Daily News columnist and author of the thrillers 3 Quarters and Throwing 7's, offers a lot in this engrossing tale--hot sex, a wicked sense of humor, rich local color, witty dialog, a bewitching character in Gina, an unpredictable plot, and a riveting love story that begins with obsession and ends in heartbreak. For all popular fiction collections.
-Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I almost read this book in one night.
Jan Beggs
The only problem I had is that at times it was a little too unbelievable.
Amazon Customer
The emotional side of the story was handled in a very realistic way.
Barbara PROUD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Jones on November 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's been a week since I finished this book, and it's still in my mind every day. One of the best books I have ever read, period. I was mouthing aloud the Irish street dialogue as I was reading to savor it. So authentic. No one can accuse Hamill of shallow characters either; Gina Furey is only the most unforgettable character I have ever come across in fiction.
But this novel isn't merely a character study - it's also a tragedy, a love story, and bits of lough-out-loud hilarity.
The one warning, however, is that if you're offended by foul language, it'd be a good idea to stay away. I'm not offended by it at all, and believe it necessary in fact, as these characters would surely speak like this if it were reality.
The highest praise I can give this book is that I'm now reading it again, more slowly and carefully this time. That's something I've never done with any book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Cina on April 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I recently spent a weekend reading this book. I made time for eating and sleeping, but not much else.
I haven't read something in a while that so satisfied all of the reasons I like to read: I read to laugh and this book has some amazing one-two punches that had me laughing uproariously. I also read to find heart and this book is full of heart, these characters are complicated, made up of all the broken pieces that drain us and all the warm qualities that make us human. I read to find the truth, or someone's own version of it, and this book is very true to its characters. These characters are three dimensional and more, so complicated that you're never sure which direction they're going to take.
This story buoyed me up yet broke my heart at the same time. Denis Hamill has written a fine book, let's hope the movie people don't screw it up. It'll be damn near impossible to put Gina Furey on the screen, but I wish them a lot of luck as she is an incredible character.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Hurwitz on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I decided to read this book because I saw that Alexander Payne, who directed the movie "Sideways", is going to direct the movie version. I'm sure he will greatly improve this story, as he did in adapting "Sideways", the novel. This is a great idea for a story, and it will make a great movie if done right! There is a ton of plot, and you will turn the pages eagerly. The Irish dialect and the locations of Dublin, New York and Los Angeles are very well used and interesting. The mesmerizing Irish female character, Gina, is one you will not forget. The problem is that at a certain point the characters' actions cease to remain believeable, and even worse, you as the reader become preoccupied by it, and start to resent it. The author has set up this great story for you, and then he sabotages it by often losing touch with how real people would remotely act. I think the author simply went for too much plot, at the expense of his characters, who we do care about. Still, a week after finishing the book I continue to think about it, and that says something. Can't wait for the movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Laura Haggarty on April 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book. There were parts that made me wince, there were parts that made me sad, there were parts that made me laugh out loud. You find yourself wanting to shake the protagonist, make him see some sense. You find yourself wanting to talk to the characters, help them figure out the messes they're in. You're drawn into the book, absorbed by the issues and problems, swallowed by the circumstances that surround the two lovers.
As a part-Irish American, married to an Irish-Canadian, I was fascinated by the slice of Irish life presented in this book. The realities of life for the Irish Travelers are so far different from those we Americans experience! Hamill illuminates these people with an unflinching glance at their lives (assuming his descriptions are true), and lets us see how a dismal childhood can affect one's entire life.
All in all this book is a great read. I found it hard to put it down, and when I did, I wanted to be reading it to see what was going happen. It's not the most uplifting book I've ever read, but certainly captures ones attention and holds it to the bitter end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barbara PROUD on June 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have read this year.The insights into the travellers' life in Ireland were fascinating. The emotional side of the story was handled in a very realistic way. Unlike many "love stories" the characters in this book are not all good or all evil - they have faults and flaws which do not magically disappear in order to have a "happy ending". I look forward eagerly to the next book from this gifted author.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joan K. Lownds on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
In this extraordinary novel, Denis Hamill gives new meaning to the phrase "bringing characters to life." They are so riveting that several months after reading it, I can still remember exact scenes, dialogue, and details. This novel is one of my all time favorites, and I've been telling everyone to read
it.
The fork Colin Coyne takes veers through the Irish sub-culture of tinkers, or travellers. Colin has fallen for an enigmatic tinker woman, Gina Furey, and this wreaks havoc in his life. Gina and company are the type who would "steal the sugar out of your punch," as my Irish grandmother would say. Colin and Gina's story is so compelling it was very hard to put this book down. I plan to read it again, for the pure pleasure of it.
This is the best detour you'll ever take!
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