An Evening of Long Goodbyes

An Evening of Long Goodbyes

3.6 (1,083 ratings by Goodreads)
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An extremely assured and wonderfully funny first novel with a rollicking plot - and at its heart an extremely touching and believable relationship between a twenty-something brother and sister. AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES tells the story of Charles and his sister Bel. They live in a crumbling old house outside Dublin where Charles is indolently escaping from real life while Bel strives to live life to the full. Both are romantics; both are trying to find their way in the world without losing themselves, each other and the things they hold dear. And all kinds of things happen along the way: there are fistfights, greyhound races, explosions, many cases of mistaken identity, unwise love affairs and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 138 x 212 x 42mm | 580.6g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Hamish Hamilton Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0241141818
  • 9780241141816

Author information

Paul Murray studied for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA and now lives in Dublin. AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES is his first more

Review Text

As the technological revolution and economic boom begin their descent on Charles Hythloday's ancestral pile outside Dublin, he finds his privileged life of cocktails and crumpets under threat. While his idealistic sister Bel tries to embrace this opportunistic new world, in the person of the insalubrious Frank, Charles clings stubbornly to his preferred patrician values of idleness and alcoholism. However, this world begins to disappear from beneath him, not to mention the piano, the ottoman, and the contents of his extensive wine cellar.... With Charles as our charming but dissolute host, we meet a varied cast of down-at-heel aristocrats, mushrooming bourgeoisie, and a phlegmatic criminal underclass, as well as Bosnian refugees and, bizarrely, Yeats. Wickedly funny dialogue and a farcical turn of events make for a chuckle a page, until some darkly hinted secrets begin to make their presence felt. As Charles's muddled attempts to look after his unhappy sister and regain his life of ease seem to be going awry, the Hythloday siblings find themselves entangled in an artistic endeavour for the good of the community... but whose interests are they really serving? Clever and compelling, this is one to read when you want the serious diluted with the silly. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

1,083 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 20% (221)
4 37% (397)
3 30% (323)
2 10% (105)
1 3% (37)
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