Farewell Companions

Farewell Companions

  • Paperback
By (author) James Plunkett

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  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 114.3 x 172.72 x 38.1mm | 240.4g
  • 01 Aug 1996
  • Random House UK Ltd (A Division of Random House Group)
  • Leopard Books
  • London
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0752904043
  • 9780752904047

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Review text

Picking up where he left off in civil-wax-torn Strumpet City (1969), Irish Plunkett takes three childhood friends from the Easter Rising - the establishment of the Irish Free State - to WW II maturity. Yes, once again we're given, at great length, ravished, conflicted Ireland as a moral backdrop, with individual direction caught up in and contrasted with national destiny. Thoughtful Tim McDonagh is reared in the world of First Communions, wakes, pubs, and extended families - he'll drift, rather unconvincingly, into priesthood. Brian Moloney is irreverent, rebellious, kept from a medical career by a provincial father who chains him to the pub business, to Republican politics. And Des Cunningham is the doomed friend, the card: tobacco, women, and an RAF demise. Plunkett fills up his episodic cross-cuts with all the right echoes - Joycean give-and-take, heady pub-talk, songs, slogans, headlines, brooding adolescents, ironic and poetic elders (the neighborhood eccentric, O'Sheehan, is a fount of Irish history and poetry: "I am Ireland"). But it would take enormous energy or a singular voice to inject new vigor into the familiar Ireland-England, church-street, violent-nonviolent Dublin dilemmas; neither Plunkett's eclectic, educational narrative nor the lives of these three companions and their families can do much more than drift along into a well-intentioned, inoffensive bog. (Kirkus Reviews)

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