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- Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 176 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 12mm | 145g
- Publication date: 18 November 2011
- Publication City/Country: Dublin
- ISBN 10: 1847173225
- ISBN 13: 9781847173225
- Edition: 2, Revised
- Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
- Sales rank: 5,871
The first book in the Agnes Browne trilogy Now a film starring Anjelica Huston and Tom Jones 'And what was the cause of death?' 'A Hunter', Agnes said. 'Was he shot', the girl asked incredulously, 'was your husband shot?' 'By who?' Agnes asked this question as if the girl had found out something about her husband's death that she didn't know herself. Then a look of realisation came into her face. 'No! A Hillman Hunter, he was knocked down by a Hillman Hunter!' Agnes Browne is a widow of only a few hours when she goes to the Social Welfare Office. Living in James Larkin Flats, with Redsers' legacy - seven little Brownes - to support on the income from her Moore Street stall, she can't afford to miss a day's pension. Life is like that for Agnes and her best pal Marion. But they still have time for a laugh and a jar, and Agnes even has a dream - that one day she will dance with Cliff Richard. THE MAMMY describes the life and times, the joys and sorrows of Agnes, mother of the famous Mrs. Browne's Boys from the daily radio soap. A book of hilarious incidents, glorious characters, and a passion for life, it is written with a sure touch and great ear for dialogue.
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Now author, actor/director/ script-writer, playwright, video star as well as stand-up comic, the Brendan O'Carroll story begins very modestly. The youngest of eleven children, Brendan O'Carroll was born in Dublin's inner-city in 1955. His mother, Maureen was a Labour TD (MP) and a huge influence on his life. He left school at 12 and worked as a waiter, trying many other occupations in his spare time - disco manager, milkman, pirate radio disc-jockey, painter-decorator etc. For a time he ran his own bar and cabaret lounge before being persuaded to try the comedy circuit. The gigs were small at first and even included his own version of 'Blind Date', but word soon got round about this original and outrageous funnyman and then there was standing-room only. The real turning point in Brendan's career was his first appearance on The Late Late Show, Ireland's longest-running chat show, also shown weekly on Channel 4 in the UK. The studio audience and the viewers loved him. His first video Live at the Tivoli went straight to No 1, knocking U2 out of the top slot and pushing Garth Brooks to No 3. In 1994 he was voted Ireland's No 1 Variety Entertainer at the National Entertainment Awards. He went on to make 4 top-selling videos, and a bestselling record, as well as touring in Ireland, the UK and the USA. The radio show Mrs Browne's Boys, written by and starring Brendan, had a phenomenal daily audience on 2FM and led to the creation of Agnes Browne as the central character in Brendan's first novel, The Mammy, published in 1994. The book topped the bestseller charts in Ireland for months and the film rights were snapped up. The Mammy is now also available as a talking book. The sequel to The Mammy, entitled The Chisellers, published in 1995, was also a long-running bestseller, and the final book in the trilogy, The Granny, (1996) went straight to No 1 in the Irish Bestseller list; the first print-run sold out immediately. Meanwhile Brendan wrote a play, The Course, which had a five-month sell-out run in Dublin in 1995/96 and has toured in England (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool) and Scotland as well as in Canada. Brendan can be seen on the big screen in the film of Roddy Doyle's The Van, in which he plays alongside Colm Meaney of Star Trek and The Snapper fame. His performance has been described by the critics as 'spot-on'. He also hosts a quiz show on RTE - Hot Milk and Pepper.
By Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page) 06 Jun 2012
I'm a big fan of Mrs Brown's Boys, a very popular comedy here in England with Brendan O'Carroll acting as the lead character, Agnes Brown. It will probably be a surprise for quite a few people that the series is based on a trilogy of books written by O'Carroll himself. It was definitely a (very pleasant) surprise to me when I saw the trilogy in the bookshop. I knew I just had to pick them up!
Agnes Browne (With an e, unlike the TV show) is a loud, funny (though often not intentionally) and caring (in her own way, at least) Irish mother of seven children, struggling but trying her best to get through life after the death of her husband and a loss of income. To be honest, I couldn't tell you what a Northern Dublin neighbourhood would've been like in the 1960's, but it's the place and time period portrayed in this book and it seemed quite realistic. I have been to Dublin a couple of times and it was great to see a lot of popular places referenced - anybody who has been will recognise some of the mentioned locations. I thought that the atmosphere and the working-class struggle of Dublin was very well described and I really got into the setting.
Mrs Brown's Boys, as I've said, is a comedy and it is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud (often for quite a while afterwards, too!) every time. I was worried that the book wouldn't be as humorous after seeing it acted out, but oh, how wrong was I! I absolutely loved the humour in this book and was laughing nearly throughout each page. I instantly warmed to Agnes Browne and found her absolutely hilarious. Her connection with the other characters was fantastic. I really enjoyed reading about Agnes and her best friend Marion, their relationship was especially touching. Although the book was, for the most part, amusing, it also touched on some rather sensitive subjects, including love and loss. There was a real sense of community as everyone helped each other and even though times were difficult, good relationships and positivity helped to get them through.
I really commend O'Carroll for executing this book so well. This was a very quick read as it was a short book at less than 180 pages, but it felt as though the author packed a lot in during that space. Without being overly descriptive, a very vivid scene was set and the personality of each character shone from the pages. I still have the next books, The Chisellers and The Granny to read and frankly, I can't wait! This is definitely a book that I'll keep hold of and can already see myself wanting to revisit it in the future!
'Brendan O'Carroll is a born storyteller ... A cross between Robin Williams and Billy Connolly' -- The Independent 'He's done one hell of a job of capturing the absolute essence of a widowed mother of seven in working-class Dublin.' -- Anjelica Huston 'Hilarious and irreverent. A must-read.' -- Gabriel Byrne 'a very well written, sharp and witty story with great believable characters, strong storyline and a great read' -- whatsgoodtodo.com 'I couldn't put it down and can't wait to read the other 2 in this series' -- whatsgoodtodo.com 'from page 1 you are laughing, an excellent read ... highly recommended' -- whatsgoodtodo.com
'Brendan O'Carroll is a born storyteller ... A cross between Robin Williams and Billy Connolly' -- The Independent 'He's done one hell of a job of capturing the absolute essence of a widowed mother of seven in working-class Dublin.' -- Anjelica Huston 'Hilarious and irreverent. A must-read.' -- Gabriel Byrne