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Kerrigan in Copenhagen: A Love Story Hardcover – June 11, 2013


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Kerrigan in Copenhagen: A Love Story + Falling Sideways: A Novel + In the Company of Angels: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620401096
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620401095
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,921,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Veteran writer Kennedy (Falling Sideways, 2011) once again showcases his authorial bravado and passion for Copenhagen in this so-called love story, his fourth novel about the city. Committed to constructing a guidebook to the finest of Copenhagen’s 1,500-plus watering holes, American immigrant and “failed poet” Kerrigan wanders the city with a copy of Finnegans Wake in his pocket, a quote on his tongue, and a devastating, guarded past. Accompanying him from one “serving house” to the next is “his Associate,” a green-eyed local woman whose research eases Kerrigan’s job and whose loveliness and wit steer him from his task. As Kerrigan stumbles through the onetime hometown of Kierkegaard and Hans Christian Andersen, he pieces together not a drinker’s guidebook so much as a painful unveiling of his past and a literary and cultural history of his assumed home. Through Kerrigan’s curiosity and astute (if not drunken) musings on everything from music to art to sex, Kennedy proves to be an intellectual and entertaining guide to a remarkable city and to the deepest longings of a broken, aging man. --Jonathan Fullmer

Review

“The essay, the guidebook, the love story, the comforting exchange of facts in a bewildering world of emotion—all are to be found in Thomas E. Kennedy’s Kerrigan in Copenhagen . . . Coarse language plays off lyrical images and often stunning prose that twirls with the improvisations of the jazz musicians Kerrigan admires.” —The New York Times Book Review

"This up-and-down kind of boozy journey is well worth the time . . . Kennedy's obvious love for Copenhagen drives an exciting work." —Library Journal

“Once again showcases [Kennedy’s] authorial bravado and passion . . . Kennedy proves to be an intellectual and entertaining guide to a remarkable city and to the deepest longings of a broken, aging man.” —Booklist

"Thomas E. Kennedy is an astonishment, and In the Company of Angels is as elegant as it is beautiful, as important as it is profound. A marvel of a read." —Junot Diaz, on In the Company of Angels

"In the Company of Angels is powerful and of the moment... [Kennedy] is a writer to be reckoned with, and it's about time the reckoning got underway in the country of his birth."-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, on In the Company of Angels

"In its wisdom and empathy, in its understanding of the supreme importance of love, in its portrait of a strong man and its knowledge of the human soul in all its suffering, this is indeed a profound and exceptional work." —The Guardian, on In the Company of Angels

"Falling Sideways is the finest novel I have read in many years. Thomas Kennedy is a true discovery, an author of rare intelligence and moral vision. Not least, the book is immensely compelling and beautifully written." —Alain de Botton, on Falling Sideways

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

This book is well written, as all of Kennedy's works are.
Barbara Ames
His observations on life are, as we expect from this writer, both beautiful and profound in this richly textured novel.
H. F. Corbin
It seems loosely and lovingly based on Joyce's Ulysses as well.
Sue B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I discovered Thomas E. Kennedy a couple of years ago when I read IN THE COMPANY OF ANGELS, an amazing novel that still haunts me. Now the third novel of his COPENHAGEN QUARTET has been published in the United States, KERRIGAN IN COPENHAGEN, obviously set in that city in the spring. It is simultaneously almost a travelogue of the city that the author obviously is besotted with, his chosen home for the past 30 years in spite of the encroachment of 7-11's and Burger Kings (America`s gifts to the world); a cultural history of that city (surely Kerrigan describes every piece of outdoor sculpture in Copenhagen); a compilation of the authors and books that the author through his character holds dear; and finally a brilliant commentary about practically everything in life that matters. Mr. Kennedy achieves all the above by having the character Kerrigan work on a guidebook of the city's drinking establishments of which there are about 1,500. The project will involve visiting some of these bars and cafes with the assistance of an attractive Associate of the jade-green eyes whose name we don't even know until half way through the novel.

Kerrigan is 56, a transplant from New York, holds a doctorate in what another character calls bull----, probably drinks too much, carries around a copy of Joyce's FINNEGAN'S WAKE that he will never finish (he's probably in good company) by now in middle age has many fault lines, and-- to use the now trite description-- is one of the walking wounded, if at times just barely. Shelby Foote in his eulogy on NPR of another fine American fiction writer Peter Taylor said that Taylor was "very concerned about what went on inside people," a perfect description of what Mr. Kennedy adroitly does with this character.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sue B. on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book. It's a novel growing inside a travel book, a wonderful guide and appreciation of Copenhagen with the addition of Kerrigan's story. It seems loosely and lovingly based on Joyce's Ulysses as well. This unusual combination blends very well into a satisfying novel of a middle-aged man who has suffered, but is sustained by the consolations of life: literature, jazz, beer, Copenhagen, lust, and memories-not necessarily in that order. Thomas Kennedy has a gorgeous writing style that captures the sounds, smells, sights of the city as well as the thoughts of Kerrigan, and the reader gets to experience it all. I had a great time reading it and would definitely recommend it--particularly to English majors who enjoy beer, or to anyone interested in the city of Copenhagen. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David W. Berner on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love the written word, the story behind the artists who write, and a good pint, this is your book. Yes, it's set in Copenhagen, but you don't have to know Denmark to enjoy this story. Kennedy gives you all you need to know about Copenhagen -- all those wonderful drinking establishments! And yes, it's a love story...love of words, women, beer, and a great city. It's an honest, many times touching story of an aging writer and all his loves.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on June 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
After suffering a disaster in his personal life three years before, Terrence Kerrigan arrives in Copenhagen, the birthplace of his mother, hoping to find serenity and a new life. The new millennium is about to start, and Kerrigan hopes to "clothe himself in [Copenhagen's] thousand years of history...let its poets' songs fill his soul, let its food fill his belly, its drink temper his reason, its jazz sing in the ears of his mind, its light and art and nature and seasons wrap themselves about him and keep him safe from chaos," certainly a lofty goal for someone trying to escape.

Though Kerrigan's Ph.D. in literature and his academic research have made him an expert in "verisimilitude," the appearance of reality that allows "a writer [to create] a credible illusion [and] to get the reader to suspend disbelief," his expertise in "verisimilitude" is ironic: he does not really know and understand himself, much less the wider world. He carries around a copy of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, and plans to walk around Copenhagen in a manner similar to Stephen Dedalus's walk around Dublin in Ulysses, but his goals are not literary or experimental. His plans are to visit and evaluate the fifteen hundred bars and cafes in Copenhagen, choosing the hundred best for a book which will be part of a series of Great Bars of the Western World. With the assistance of an Associate, whose real name is finally revealed as "Annelise," Kerrigan begins his research, and the reader gradually begins to understand the circumstances of Kerrigan's marriage and the loss of his daughter. Though Kerrigan gradually comes to understand and appreciate his Associate in ways new to him, his dependence on alcohol complicates his ability to recognize and communicate that fact.
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