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- Publisher: FABER & FABER
- Format: Paperback | 464 pages
- Dimensions: 126mm x 192mm x 30mm | 340g
- Publication date: 3 January 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0571215726
- ISBN 13: 9780571215720
- Sales rank: 1,065,486
Part thriller, part comedy, part portrait of a city, The Parts shares airtime with Joe Kavanagh, radio host struggling with interference from his private life; Barry, his producer, about to be ambushed by something suspiciously like love; Delly Roche, a woman who wrongly thinks death might provide her with a way out; Kitty Flood, over-eater, under-achiever, party to a secret from the past; Dr George Addison-Blake, stranded strange American with funny ideas about medical ethics; and Kez, the Dublin rent boy who links them all, without quite knowing it, to a single story, part hilarious, part scary, part beautiful. Just like life.
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Keith Ridgway was born in 1965 in Dublin. His novella Horses first appeared in Faber First Fictions in 1997 and was followed in 1998 by his critically acclaimed first novel The Long Falling, which has since been awarded both the prestigious Prix Femina Etranger and Premier Roman Etranger in France. His stories have appeared in various anthologies in Ireland, Britain and the United States. His collection of stories, Standard Time, won the Rooney Prize in 2001. His most recent novel, The Parts, was published by Faber in 2003. He lives in London.Find out more by visiting Keith's website here.
Set in a vibrant, if slightly menacing, Dublin, this is the interwoven stories of six characters. Delly is a rich widow who is convinced she is dying. Kitty is Delly's enormously fat companion. George is Delly's adopted American son, who is now her doctor. Joe is a thoroughly miserable DJ, Barry is his producer, and Kez is a young rent-boy that Barry tries to persuade to appear on the radio show. Although very different, their lives are all to become inextricably linked by old family secrets and whatever it is that George is hiding in the tennis shed. This is a bleakly comic novel, full of the absurdity of life and human relationships. However, it is curiously also a very tender book: Ridgeway, and therefore the reader, never laughs at the characters, no matter how pathetic and farcical their lives become. Ridgeway's characters are so human, and his insight into the psyche of failing and insignificant lives is so great, that it is impossible not to warm to the story and its characters, no matter how badly they behave. However, it is his ability to mingle different narratives and different voices that really stands out; he successfully finds the words for both a streetwise rent-boy and an insane American doctor. The Parts is by turns comic and tragic, but always completely compelling. (Kirkus UK)