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The 13th Apostle: A Novel of a Dublin Family, Michael Collins, and the Irish Uprising Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dermot McEvoy paints a gripping you-are-there portrait of revolutionary Ireland in The 13th Apostle. The job of rescuing a nation from its fate as an exploited colony was certain to be an epic task, and McEvoy’s expertly paced novel conjures the streets and characters with a historian’s keen eye…McEvoy…paints a portrait of the man in full, creating one of the most richly detailed character studies of Collins that I have ever read…There are many books about Collins, but few that understand his challenge and his accomplishments the way McEvoy’s The 13th Apostle does. Collins didn’t just change Irish history; he reinvented it and the nation’s trajectory through action and sheer force of mind. McEvoy knows this as few others do, and The 13th Apostle tells the tale.”—Cahir O’Doherty, Irish Voice

“Anyone who’s ever doubted the truth of William Faulkner’s famous assertion that “the past is never dead—it’s not even past” should read Dermot McEvoy’s The 13th Apostle. McEvoy gives us the story of the Irish War for Independence in all its vivid, intimate, squalid, intricate, heroic, and tragic immediacy. The dust and cobwebs are dispelled. Sepia turns technicolor. In McEvoy’s hands, the past lives, breathes and walks among us. This is historical fiction of a rare and wonderful sort.”
—Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve on The 13th Apostle

The 13th Apostle is a compelling blow-by-blow account of the efforts Michael Collins led to bring independence to Ireland.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Dermot McEvoy was born in Dublin in 1950 and immigrated to New York City four years later. He is a graduate of Hunter Collge and is the author of the novels Terrible Angel, and Our Lady of Greenwich Village. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162636561X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626365612
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Sullivan on March 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
McEvoy has done a good job in portraying Michael Collins and his work in achieving "freedom to get freedom" for Ireland, as well as The Big Fellow's views on DeValera (not very positive and deservedly so), Irish tactics (the value of Intelligence), and his financial and communications skills. Having played Michael Collins in a theaterical production which I researched and wrote, I was impressed by how easily and well McEvoy incorporated all of the many aspects of Michael Collins into his novel. I recommend this book as a very good insight into Mick Collins, and a great staring point for learning more about how he and his people won Irish freedom despite heavy odds--a combination of brains, perseverance, ruthlessness, and brilliant PR. Well done, Dermot!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Schindlinger on February 13, 2014
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Incredible. Dermot has caught the spirit of almost a century of Irish, British and American history. I laughed, cried and then moved back and forth between them again and again. I learned a lot of history and met again with friends of almost forty years standing. Thank you Dermot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really enjoy the depiction and narrative of Easter Sunday Ireland through the eyes of a Michael Collins lieutenant. Abhorred the decision to include a modern day narrative with a Viagra fueled character and his perfect wife. It stole from me being in the Irish moment of 1916 and all the complications, disloyalty, and clannish moors of those poor suffering people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Molina on February 27, 2015
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In these days of PC and nonviolence, the actions of the IRA seem cruel at best, barbaric at worse..., that is until you go past the headlines and into the history. As bloody as the last century was in Ireland, did that wash away over 700 years of occupation? This book gives a voice and humanizes those who have been gone too long
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Page on March 16, 2014
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Excellent, loved every page of this book. Michael Collins was a larger than life figure and this book brings him to life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean F. Sheehan on January 3, 2015
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Really good look at the Irish Revolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robyn on October 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone wanting a more easily digestible perspective of the momentous Irish Uprising and the enigmatic characters at its heart will gain just that from McEvoy,s book. Gripping, funny and at times understandably confronting and tragic, it educates and enthrals.
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This novel tells the story of Michael Collins' post-1916 actions through the fictional creation of a teenage "right-hand-man" that bears witness to the Irish Revolution in Dublin. Eoin Kavanagh is a great creation to tell this essential and exciting story in a very engaging way. Eoin's work and proximity of Collins allows the reader intimate access to the story, and McEvoy does a great job telling this story.

However, I was confused by some of McEvoy's artistic decisions (to the point I mentioned them to a friend as a source of frustration in an otherwise enjoyable book). The story is framed by Eoin's death as a very old man, and his grandson and granddaughter-in-law going through his possessions and finding his diary. The diary provides the first-person narrative which is the majority of the book. However, the interludes of Johnny 3 and his wife are clunky and distractingly sexual. In almost every chapter that includes them, they devolve into sexual contact, which seems extremely out of place and against the tone of the book itself. For example, as the couple take a break and walk around St. Stephens Green and note how historical the area is, Johnny 3 gets an erection and presses it against his wife in an embrace. Just out of nowhere. In the middle of the Michael Collins' story. The other distracting feature is the abandonment of the first-person narrative to an unexplained third-person perspective in separate chapters. I found this distracting while reading the book, but it is explained literally in the last page of the novel.

Despite these faults, if you have an interest in the ins and out of how Michael Collins outsmarted the Empire, I recommend this book. The faults are easily ignored, and the main story is well told.
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