Buy Used
$0.01
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. This book shows minor wear and is in very good condition. Blue Cloud Books. Hot deals from the land of the sun.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Ghosts and Lightning Hardcover – December 29, 2009


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.82 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Year-End Kindle Daily Deals
Load your library with great books for $2.99 or less each, today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385531273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385531276
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,972,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Although gothic tropes pervade Byrne's strong debut novel, they're doused—or soused, rather—with vibrant Dublin brogue and streetwise wit. On the death of his mother, 26-year-old Denny Cullen comes home to a small, disgraceful fuckin kip in Dublin's sprawl, where dwells his quite alive and quite drunk lesbian sister, Paula. She claims there's a gender-bending ghost hiding under the bed, so their friend and methadone-addicted spiritual adviser, Pajo, conducts a kitchen-table séance that prompts Denny to find meaning and purpose in his own life. Overwhelmed by grief and alienated from his father and brothers, Denny struggles against the boozy tides of violent childhood memories, unemployment and low self-esteem. If his aimlessness threatens to scuttle a plot that depends upon the shenanigans of his friends and their enemies, then it's Denny's voice and sensibility that buoy the narrative. He and his mates turn phrases so wry, so inventive, so Irish, that one feels the burning intelligence and resilience that reside in even the mangiest stripe of the Celtic tiger. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A kinder, gentler Irvine Welsh, first-novelist Byrne gives voice to a pack of Dublin lads, chief among them Denny Cullen. Having escaped the monotony of his unemployed, hard-drinking Dublin lifestyle for the fresh sights of Wales, Denny is unexpectedly called back home when his ma dies. He is incredibly sad to think that he will no longer hear the encouraging words of his funny, resilient ma. His lesbian sister, Paula, is in even worse shape as she tries to drink and drug her way through her grief, claiming she is being haunted by a ghost under her bed. There’s nothing for it but to have a séance, led by Denny’s childhood friend Pajo, a green-haired ex-heroin addict with a mystical bent (one who “may be a Buddhist but still drinks like a Catholic”). Mad for wrestling and Guinness, Denny and his pals do their best to keep the darkness at bay, trading sharp one-liners in a thick Irish brogue. They prove irresistible even as Byrne offers up a caustic portrait of modern Dublin and life on the dole. --Joanne Wilkinson

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
5
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Musser on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first several pages of this book in the store, I decided to buy it...and it was a great decision. While it took me a little while to catch onto the Irish dialect/slang that it's written in, the story and the way in which it was written came across as very real, authentic, and never boring. The suspension of disbelief was dead on; I found it very easy to get immersed in the story and feel like I was actually there. Highly recommend :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shullamuth Ballinger on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When it comes to Celtic Noir, Declan Hughes gives us the tragic tough guy, Adrian McKinty the poetic, now, Trevor Byrne introduces us to Denny, a guy whose toughness only comes out in his ability to take a punch.

Denny mourns both the Mother he's lost and the brothers and sister he still has. He wants a a car, a girl, and a clean house, but each time he's presented with an object of desire, he'll do anything except hold on to it.

Yet, he's fun, and honest, and naively romantic without romanticizing drink, drugs, or Dublin.

Ghosts and Lightning is delightfully profane and reeking of Joycean paralysis. In it Byrne juxtaposes professional wrestling, casual police beat downs and the implacable brutality of low-tech violence. Not to mention terrifying sheep, giant moths, and a spirit that just might be Chuchulainn.

I wanted to re-read it as soon as I turned the last page.

Besides, how can you not love a book that introduces "manky" to your vocabulary.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By letters2mary on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I almost gave up on this book, yet about one third of the way through the writing, first simply clever, became a vehicle for descriptions of family love: the family we're born with, the family we create, and, ultimately, the family that we lose, and then somehow carry on. There's much more here than just clever dialect (memo to Byrne: sometimes less is more, we've all read Joyce up to the eyeballs) and the desperation of those who did not benefit from the (now apparently moribund) Celtic tiger. Truly looking forward to hearing more from this talented new voice.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John L Murphy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This "spirited" shaggy-dog tale takes its time. Storytelling's central, even if episodes wander genially. Denny's a nonchalant narrator, conveying drug-dealing, score-setting, and a gradual coming-of-age-- however delayed-- on downscale Dublin's fringes. Denny drifts, estranged from his home where his brother charges the rest of the family rent after the death of their mother.

His home turf of Clondalkin, once a pretty village, gets sucked into Dublin's "giant smoky gob." Heritage dwindles. The Salmon of Knowledge of Irish myth converts into Fishsticks. The Hellfire Club site in the mountains south of the city conjures up a history of those who wondered the same thoughts about what lies beyond, they find.

A Neil Jordan film, pro wrestling videos, "The Simpsons," and PlayStations serve as memory for Denny. Perhaps this is a sort of sequel to Roddy Doyle's "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha," as suburban sameness surrounds the fields and chokes off the "gyppo" camps and caravans; compare Paul Murray's "Skippy Dies" (see my review) for another recent take on growing up with drugs and drama, old rambles and new dangers, on the fringes of expanding Dublin.

The conflict between the travellers and the settled folk's not one over age-old prejudice, but a cocaine shipment that's been stolen; Byrne's Denny navigates a newer Irish society that replace traditional sources of tension. More multicultural, more multiculturally criminal? His sister's a lesbian with a Dublin-born black partner, and antagonisms flare in one scene that is drawn, as is a boxing match and a revenge on a pair of horse-killers, powerfully. But beneath the violence, the toll of being on the drink and dole darkens their lives.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Books&Coffee on August 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ghosts & Lightning is Trevor Byrnes's first novel and it's impressive in every way. The prose is pitch-perfect and the story is sad, compassionate and sometimes hilariously funny. It's hard to believe it was written when Byrne was in his late 20's. Denny Cullen, the main character, the heart of the story, is a great narrator and Roddy Doyle is dead right when he says this book is powerful and 'always very human'. What an astonishing debut. I can't wait to read his next. If you want a glimpse into modern Dublin, this is the book. There isn't a single false note in its wonderful pages. Wow!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again