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Broken Irish by [Delaney, Edward J.]
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Broken Irish Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A masterpiece... highly recommended" - Library Journal (starred review)

"When the fateful stars of [Delaney's] style and syntax align just right, the page glistens with poetic charisma." - The Brooklyn Rail

"A nuanced and elegant novel"  - SFGate.com

"The novel has a complex plot and a driving, fast-paced narrative. [Delaney] eventually reveals unexpected connections among the troubled souls in this highly recommended book." - The Star-Tribune, Minneapolis

Editor's Choice, ALA Booklist, as one of the "best books of 2011"

“Truly indelible. . . . [Delaney] cares about details and understands their importance to the larger themes of loss, desperation, and betrayed loyalties. His characters are not merely vehicles for ideas, but rather fully realized, familiar people, whose failures are heartbreakingly authentic.” —Boston Globe

“In an artfully constructed story . . . Delaney tackles corporate corruption, the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, gun violence, and, especially, alcoholism (in searing passages on the ravages of drink that recall Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano).” —Booklist (starred review)

“Readers will be captivated. The author continues to demonstrate great dexterity and storytelling acumen in his lyrical page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Delaney plots his narrative through parallel story lines, all of which elegantly converge at the end of the novel. . . . [keeping] the incipient tragedy beautifully and heartbreakingly balanced.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Muscular and taut . . . a great story that reaches into a reader’s life [and] poses important questions about people, fate and community.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers

“If you're anything like me, you Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Stop. Reading.” —The Quivering Pen


About the Author

Edward J. Delaney is an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. He has published two previous books of fiction, the novel Warp & Weft and the collection The Drowning and Other Stories, and has published short stories regularly in the Atlantic Monthly and other magazines and quarterlies. He is also the co-author of Born to Play, by Boston Red Sox second baseman and 2008 American League Most Valuable Players Dustin Pedroia.

Delaney has received a Literary Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Winship Award for Fiction, and is a past winner of an O. Henry Prize for short story writing. His work has been included in Best American Short Stories (edited by Jane Smiley), and he has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award.

As a journalist, he wrote for publications including the Denver Post and Chicago Tribune, and is a past winner of the National Education Reporting Award as well as other national awards. Delaney has also served as an editor at the Neiman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. As a filmmaker, Delaney has directed and produced documentary films including "The Times Were Never So Bad: The Life of Andre Dubus," (2007), and "Library of the Early Mind," which premiered in Fall 2010.

He lives in Rhode Island.



Product Details

  • File Size: 727 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Point Press (September 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005IG5YVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,625 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward Delaney's new novel, "Broken Irish" is some piece of excellent writing. Set in "Southie" - South Boston - in the late 1990's, Delaney focuses on six main characters. They range from an aging priest, a mother and son who lost the one man who bound them together, a run-away 16 year old girl, a drunken writer, who sobers up only to learn he's dying, and a titan-of-industry. All come together - sort of, anyway - at the end of the story. All are Irish-Americans and all of them - whether or not they're still living in "Southie" - carry the secrets and sins of the area. "Southie" is both a town and a mindset, and most natives can't leave it behind, no matter how far they travel in life.

Delaney's novel is not easy reading, nor is it for the faint-of-heart. Major problems like clergy sexual abuse, alcoholism, prostitution and pornography are matters of fact in the story. Delaney's writing is so precise that the reader becomes caught up in the problems, but never loses sight of the humanity of the characters. At the end of the book, I was left wondering what happened next. I wanted Delaney to write another novel, with the same characters to bring me up-to-date. Wanting to read more is the mark of an excellent novel to me, and there are very few authors or novels that I feel that way about. "Broken Irish" is one, though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finished Edward Delaney's "Broken Irish" yesterday and have been walking
around with a sense of loss since then. I wish I had been able to put it down so
I would still have some left.

I read a lot. I read all kinds of stuff, including a lot of junk. There are
some things I start but can't finish -- suckered once again by a good review of bad
writing. Fortunately, the good review I read of "Broken Irish" steered me right.

Delaney's characters simply do not miss. There is not a single wrong note and all of
us have known at least one of these people at some time. We want to
fix things for them. We want to yell and scream and straighten them out. It is
all so real, so there.

I feel as if I have discovered a wonderful author I never knew before. Hats off to Turtle Point Press for making this gem possible.

Now we come to the trouble: the e version via Amazon/Kindle is riddled with typos
on every page, so annoying to the reader that the errors intrude on what should be
a perfect reading experience. $9.99 for this, Amazon you should be ashamed. How this carelessness happened, I have no real idea except it seems to be a scanning problem. I read many e-books and they always have errors but this is so far the worst. The hard copies are fine.

Amazon simply must do something to make this right -- for the author, especially. After all, it is his WORK you've messed with. Show some respect. Do the right thing.

Elinore Standard Burlington VT
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a rather bleak but satisfying novel about a South Boston before gentrification changed it's character. The reader will discover a neighborhood and its inhabitants set ways and traditions are losing to the inroads of changing times and demographics. This is mirrored in the struggles of several citizens young, middle aged and older. The author has real insight into aspects of the recent pedophiliac clergy scandal in the Hub. Delaney ranks with the Late Edwin O'Connor and the still prolific James Carroll who gave us Mortal Friends.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delaney's book tells the dark tale of five Irish Americans who are growing or have grown up in South Boston.

known as "Southie" to most Bostonians. South Boston first came to prominence in the school busing crisis made the news in the mid-Seventies when Judge Garrity ordered busing to achieve racial balance and the Irish residents exploded in anger. Home of Louise Day Hicks and Whitey Bolger, Southie has a well deserved reputation as the last stronghold of the Boston Irish.

Almost a fictional ethnography, Delaney's book explores South Boston's toxic mix of proletarian snobbery, organized criminal culture and the Roman Catholic Church as viewed through the eyes of two runaway teenagers (they don't run far) an alcoholic writer, a troubled priest plus one successful aging businessman.

If you are looking for a smarmy beach read forgetaboutit, but if you prefer a well plotted book with well developed thought provoking and believable characters with lots of twists and turns, I highly recommend this book.

Richard W. Wise, author: The French Blue
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By J. Falzone on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
Of all the books written about Southie, this is by far the best book I have ever read on the subject. What a beautifully written book. The characters were made so alive by the author. Tremendous work.
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Format: Paperback
This is a superb novel in every way. The characters are so deeply imagined that they feel as close to you as anyone walking the earth, and their stories keep you riveted and incredibly moved. The setting - Southie (i.e., South Boston) - is brilliantly depicted, especially its economic and psychological poverty, the role of the Catholic Church, and making it clear that that the place one is raised can have an enormous impact on one's aspirations and outcomes.The themes of self-destruction and hopelessness and redemption make this a classic and give it moral heft. Where in the hands of another writer the themes would be depressing, here they are emotionally powerful and very satisfying, partly because of the author's technique of using very short chapters with shifting points of view. And then there's the language itself - simple and clear, yet gorgeous, with stunning metaphors on every page. What's shocking is that Delaney is not widely known and that this book was published by a small press (kudos to Turtle Point for recognizing its worth). This is a novel that is worthy of every conceivable award.
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