A Mad and Wonderful Thing

A Mad and Wonderful Thing

3.58 (286 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'You wouldn't get involved, Johnny, would you? What about those terrible bombs? You wouldn't do a bad thing, would you?'

Johnny Donnelly is a passionate young man, deeply in love with literature, with his country and with the beautiful Cora Flannery.

But he has a secret: he is also an IRA sniper who shoots British soldiers.

As Johnny's two lives move dangerously close to collision, he must make sense of both the world he lives in and the choices he has made, in this heart-stopping debut about love, inheritance and the power of redemption.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 273g
  • Australia
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 1925228568
  • 9781925228564
  • 898,631

Review quote

'A great read ... it deserves to do well.' -- Jeremy Irons 'An emotional, shocking, gorgeous read, rooted in such painful reality ... a magnetic and lyrical read.' -- Jon Snow 'This is a first novel and it clearly demonstrates that Mark Mulholland fulfils another one of those Irish stereotypes - he really knows how to tell a story.' -- Clare Donaldson * New Books * '[R]omance is the mad and wonderful thing that gives the novel its name, but it's not the emotion that drives the plot ... Mulholland's prose has all the elan of fine conversation after a couple of pints ... the final act is marvellous' -- Michelle Griffin * Canberra Times * 'Johnny Donnelly is a romantic and a rhetorician ... it's easy to be swept along ... Mulholland has Roddy Doyle's gift for vernacular ... you'll be there with him to the bitter end.' * Herald Sun * '[A] terrific first novel ... Mulholland has pulled off that most difficult of literary quinellas: a serious story, entertainingly told.' * Listener * '[A]n extraordinary book; it confronts political and moral choices with a harsh brutality, but is, as well, a great love story.' -- Mark Rubbo * Readings Monthly * '[L]yrical, poetic and passionate' * The Saturday Age * 'Despite the light-hearted banter, the real pathos underlying the Irish charm and wit permeates the book as Mulholland brings to life Ireland's bitter, strife-torn history. And he proves an extremely gifted story-teller to boot.' -- Elaine Fry * The Weekend West * 'Beneath the passion, wit, and poetry of A Mad and Wonderful Thing is an undertow of tragedy. This is a world where our moral certainties are challenged, where gentle domesticity and sudden violence disrupt our expectations.' -- Robert Gott 'Excellent. Deeply satisfying and moving ... Ireland has a new and exciting voice.' -- Liam Neeson
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About Mark Mulholland

Mark Mulholland was born and raised in a town on the Irish border, where he left school at sixteen. He now lives with his wife, their four children, and a large library of second-hand books in a farmhouse in France. A Mad and Wonderful Thing is his first novel, and is currently being developed for film.
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Rating details

286 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 19% (55)
4 37% (106)
3 30% (85)
2 10% (30)
1 3% (10)
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