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Brendan Malone: The Last Fenian Paperback – January 15, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
From the Inside Flap
For hundreds of years the British tried to conquer Ireland and the Irish fought back. From that struggle great legends appeared: tales of heroes and traitors, of love and suffering, and always, always of the human spirit. With Brendan Malone M.J. Neary has added a well-crafted and finely researched novel to the genre. --Kenneth Weene, author: Widow's Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum
The author has brought a difficult period of Irish history to life through a combination of historical and fictional characters. The effect of this tragic period on an Irish family is heartbreaking. The characters are well developed and very easy to make a personal connection with. This is a tragic tale of how blind devotion to a cause can wreak utter destruction and cause you to lose all that you love.--Jim Dougherty, President of The Wild Geese
From the Back Cover
With unerring precision the multitalented Neary meticulously unfolds a family drama within the framework of the much bigger Irish drama that took place in the beginning of the 20th century. The showdown between father and son in this tale is the equivalent of a downright show stopper. The romance of the younger brother has the beauty of a Jane Austen tale. But at the end it all amounts to an Irish tragedy.--Bertil Falk, translator of Locked Rooms and Open Spaces
Brendan Malone is a tragedy set in Ireland during the decade preceding the Easter Rebellion of 1916. With a discerning understanding of the political and socio-economic conflicts of the period, Neary skillfully weaves a dramatic narrative of a house divided, love and hatred, betrayal and revenge, guilt and expiation. Intellectually engaging, intense and visceral, Brendan Malone is a gripping read from beginning to end.--Gary Inbinder, author of Confessions of the Creature
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Top customer reviews
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There is a dark mood which sets the atmosphere throughout the novel, giving the reader a sense of impending doom no matter what the central characters try to do to avoid such a conclusion. They have taken over from the author and there is no way out of the dilemma other than the tragedy that closes out the story.
Neary has a fine ear for dialogue, for plot, and for dynamic tension, all three elements combining to make Brendan Malone a story to be read and taken seriously. It is a story that reflects a moment in Irish history, but at the same time has the elements of ancient Greek tragedy and the forecast of our own times when we seem to be plunging into the darkness of an unknown future. Take and read.
Jean Rodenbough, author of Rachel's Children:Surviving the Second World War, All Things That Matter Press, 2010.
This is tale of heartbreak and tragedy in a country long soured by famined land, rotten potatoes, and endless booze. This is the story of Brendan Malone: The Last Fenian.
Gary Inbinder, author of Confessions of the Creature
--Jim Dougherty, President of The Wild Geese
Brendan Malone: The Last Fenian is based on historical events of the Irish fight against the British. Told from the Irish point of view, it is set in the early 1900s. Strangely, the language used by Neary in the story reminds me of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The way the characters converse with each other and their manner of speech is so alike that of Pride and Prejudice's characters!
This book does not have a happy ending and there are no hints whatsoever in the synopsis that would prepare a reader for the final tragedy. Neary does not narrate the tragedy in a way that would cause a reader to cry (that is, if you are the type who cries when reading sad stories), but the narration gives a reader the impression that although the whole tragic incident is unfortunate, life's routine still goes on.
Apart from the phrase "Pull his head into his shoulders", that I did not quite understand, the book's prose is good. Scenes in the book change frequently and that might confuse some readers but other than that, it is quite an enjoyable read.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction books. If you are the type of person who remembers historical incidents through stories, this book is for you. While there are not many historical events referred to in the book, readers can glean some knowledge of how the Irish viewed their freedom fight.