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The Parts Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

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On an isolated estate outside of Dublin, Delly Roche, a fabulously wealthy widow, longs for death and an escape from the memory of her infidelity. She is cared for by her enormously obese companion of 20 years, romance novelist Kitty Flood, and by her adopted son, Dr. George Addison-Blake, who may or may not be deranged. Meanwhile, in a seedier section of town, rent-boy Koz is being wooed by nervous, kindly producer Barry, who wants to date him but is too shy to say so and also wants him to appear on a new, hard-hitting radio show. The show's host, Joe Kavanaugh, is struggling to right himself after succumbing to a noisy, dissolute midlife crisis. These days, Joe's greatest wish is to befriend his gentle immigrant neighbors, who regard him with a certain amount of horror. In gorgeous, discursive prose, Ridgway brings the six characters together in a convoluted plot fairly brimming with paranoia; explosive, bitter humor; and heartbreak. Challenging and often exhilarating reading that offers a shimmering, multifaceted portrait of contemporary Dublin. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Keith Ridgway is well aware that nothing exciting is ever achieved through predictability. So here it is: a truly ambitious, telescopic Irish novel just at the time when such ambitions seemed kidnapped. Funny. Gorgeous. Tender. Angry. Absurd. Tough. And beautifully written. A novel about story-telling, loss, regret, greed, and the human dilemna of memory, The Parts is the sort of book that will take take the oxygen out of the air for readers of Eugenides, DeLillo, Hemon, Zadie Smith and so many others. That it is also a novel about America -- in the guise of Dublin -- is just one of Ridgway's subtle nods ... you should just hear him when he winks."
- Colum McCann, bestselling author of Dancer and This Side of Brightness

"The black in the white, like fresh-poured stout, the leucomelanous complexion of Dublin. Not partially, but entirely, genius."
--Jamie O'Neill, author of At Swim, Two Boys

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312327692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312327699
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alan on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading a couple really lame books, I'm fortunate to have found "The Parts" by Keith Ridgway.

This is one of those books in which the author sets about describing the everyday lives of 5 or 6 people who seem to have very little relationship to each other, but, as he weaves the story together their lives become more entangled.

This is the story of Delly Roche, the elderly and dying Irish heir to a pharmaceutical fortune and her friend American author Kitty Flood, and her doctor. It is also the story of Joe and Barry, a radio personality and his producer. And, Kez, the hustler.

The book has moments of brilliance, like the author's description of the many Dublins, his convoluted plot regarding a memory-wiping drug and the governments of Earth, and his, at times, nearly Dickensian descriptions of the Dublin streets or the characters themselves.

There are some trite aspects to this book. For example, you can already guess the fate of the gay hustler on the streets of Dublin. But the author handles these moments so well, that you don't really mind.

So, if you can find it. Read it.
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