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Breakfast on Pluto: A Novel Paperback – October 6, 1999
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Patrick McCabe hit pay dirt with his third novel, The Butcher Boy, which was short-listed for the 1992 Booker Prize, filmed by Neil Jordan, and acclaimed as "a masterpiece of literary ventriloquism." In his fifth, Breakfast on Pluto, also on the Booker shortlist, McCabe produces another inimitable voice to amuse and infuriate, mimicking perfectly the overwrought, near-hysterical style of a character whose emotional processes were cruelly halted somewhere around the age of 14, and whose tale requires English literature's highest concentration of exclamation marks.
Patrick "Pussy" Brady is recording her memoirs for the mysterious Dr. Terence, and it's quite some story. After randy Father Bernard gets carried away with his temporary housekeeper, a dead ringer for Mitzi Gaynor, the result is Patrick Braden, abandoned on a doorstep in a Rinso box and condemned to a foster home with the alcoholic Hairy Braden. Escape comes in fantasies of Vic Damone and the occasional glitzy frock, and eventually, inevitably, the rebaptised "Pussy" heads for life as a transvestite rent boy on Piccadilly's Meat Rack. But this is not just Pussy's story; as hitherto-muffled paramilitary violence blows up in her face, Pussy falls apart, providing a vivid and unsettling final comment on the human price paid in 1970s Ireland. --Alan Stewart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
McCabe is a master ventriloquist. In The Butcher Boy he projects the voice of a brash, fast-talking, murderous boy in order to tell a story of divisive tension in a small Irish town. In The Dead School the liberalization of modern Dublin came to readers in the voice of a doddering headmaster. Here, in this Booker Prize finalist, McCabe walks far out on a limb: in the voice of Patrick "Pussy" Braden, a male transvestite fathered by a priest and brought up by foster parents, he tells of life in a violent Irish border town in the early 1970s and an exiled existence in London. (Imagine Ru Paul discoursing on "the Troubles" over a top-40 soundtrack.) Of course, they are more Pussy's troubles than his countrymen's, but Pussy is perhaps the most unabashed narrator in Irish writing since Beckett's Malone. He's nothing if not full of style: "And who was it within my darkened cellbox upon whom mine eyes did gladly fall as there I sat sky-high a-twiddle, ringed around by stars and planets?" Pussy's tale, brief but never boring, is structured as the story told to his doctor in 56 tiny chapters with theatrical asides. Stigmatized as the bastard son of the town priest whose "starched vestments... were partly responsible for his son's attraction to the airy apparel of the opposite sex," Pussy flees to England, where his transvestitism looks suspiciously like a disguise (his old IRA connections are of no help in this regard) as he moves bout Picadilly Circus, picking up men, falling in love and fantasizing various bombing schemes to avenge his own sufferings and that of his down-and-out friends?Charlie, who falls prey to drink, and Irwin, killed by the IRA for informing. Comically self-absorbed, Pussy is nonetheless charming company, and McCabe manages adroitly to paint a tender portrait of lives destined to be lost to history?apolitical folk welcome neither in Catholic Ireland nor in the U.K. while the sectarian war rages on. A recently penned preface reveals the author's hope that this time is over and that a new tolerance of difference will take hold. (Dec.) FYI: The title comes from a 1969 chart-making song in the U.K.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
(Note: it helps to watch the movie first. While both can be independent of each other, the movie helps to stream line and clarify the time line of events and happenings.)
The book and movie are quite different, so if you've just watched the movie and are looking for the same thing in print, you won't get it. Each should be consumed and judged on their own merits - and both are beyond excellent, in my opinion.
Most recent customer reviews
Didn't always understand it, but always liked it.