Books

The Thrill of it All

Joseph O'Connor

At college in 1980s Luton, Robbie Goulding, an Irish-born teenager, meets the elusive Fran Mulvey, an orphaned Vietnamese refugee. Together they form a band. Joined by cellist Sarah-Thérèse Sherlock and her twin brother Seán on drums, The Ships in the Night set out to chase fame. But the story of this makeshift family is haunted by ghosts from the past.

Spanning 25 years, The Thrill of it All rewinds and fast-forwards through an evocative soundtrack of struggle and laughter. Infused with blues, ska, classic showtunes, New Wave and punk, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries, the tale stretches from suburban England to Manhattan’s East Village, from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl, from the meadows of the Glastonbury Festival to a wintry Long Island, culminating in a Dublin evening in July 2012, a night that changes everything.

A story of loyalties, friendship, the call of the muse, and the beguiling shimmer of teenage dreams, this is a warm-hearted, funny and deeply moving novel for anyone that’s ever loved a song.

Where Have You Been?

Joseph O'Connor

Ranging from urgently contemporary London and Dublin to New York's Lower East Side in the nineteenth century, from dark comedy to poignancy, from the wryly provocative to the quietly beautiful, these stories - Joseph O'Connor's first collection in more than twenty years - offer a gathering of dreamers and lost souls who contend with the confusions of living.

Here are men without women, children parenting parents, residents of the uncertain country that is post-boom Ireland, emigrants, travellers, cheats and lovers, families, friends and foes.

Irish Male At Home And Abroad

Joseph O'Connor

The Irish Male at Home and Abroad is the hilarious sequel to Joe O'Connor's bestseller The Secret World of the Irish Male. From flirting lessons in downtown Manhattan to being offered a good ride in Disneyland by the now legendary Wanda, it was a long, strange and hilarious trip. Now, in The Irish Male at Home and Abroad, O'Connor returns faster, funnier and filthier than ever before.

Impersonating Santa Claus in a busy Dublin store on Christmas Eve, spending a penny in Lord Jeffrey Archer's penthouse loo, traipsing the local-radio publicity circuit in 100-degree Australian heat, on the run in revolutionary Nicaragua, contemplating the Shroud of Turin, or making a deposit in a grotty sperm bank - here are tall tales and short stories: absurd, anarchic and unforgettably side-splitting adventures from home and abroad.

Laugh-out-loud funny, yet always affectionate and sometimes poignant, O'Connor roams through an Ireland of wife-swapping sodomites and late-night sodalities, when not getting lost in the restless new Europe of beach holidays, terrible beauties and Baywatch lookalikes. It's going to be another weird and uproarious trip. But like Wanda once said: Hitch a ride, sweetheart, and hang on real tight!

Ghost Light

Joseph O'Connor

Dublin, 1907. A young actress begins an affair with a damaged older man, the leading playwright at the theatre where she works. Outspoken and flirtatious, Molly Allgood is a Catholic girl from the slums of Dublin, dreaming of stardom in America. Her lover, John Synge, is a troubled genius, whose life is hampered by convention and by the austere and God-fearing mother with whom he lives. Their affair, sternly opposed by friends and family, is quarrelsome, affectionate and tender.

Many years later, Molly, now a poverty-stricken old woman, makes her way through London's bomb-scarred city streets, alone but for a snowdrift of memories. Her once dazzling career has faded but her unquenchable passion for life has kept her afloat.

True Believers

Joseph O'Connor

True Believers introduces us to a world of characters stunning in their variety. Here are sad-hearted priests, old friends, young lovers, rockers and rebels. Here are runaway husbands and runaway wives. Here are jokers and fanatics, punks and poets, thinkers and drinkers, chancers and killers. Here are the true believers, all clinging desperately to some kind of faith in a mutable and dangerous world.

Yeats Is Dead

Joseph O'Connor

Yeats is Dead begins with Roddy Doyle and ends with Frank McCourt. In between, thirteen other Irish writers spin an increasingly elaborate tale of murder, mayhem and literary shenanigans in present-day Dublin.

Sweet Liberty

Joseph O'Connor

Joseph O'Connor's love affair with all things American led to an extraordinary tour of the United States to visit the nine different towns called Dublin, as well as some of the great cities and tiny hamlets in between. Along the way he wittily deconstructs the legends of a whole pantheon of Irish American heroes, from John F. Kennedy to Billy the Kid, and takes a quick detour to finally answer that most important question: was Elvis really Irish?

The result is a hilarious, poignant and unforgettable book that celebrates the breathtaking diversity of the Irish influence on America and actually manages to find a town called Dublin, somewhere on the planet, that doesn't have one single pub within its limits...

Cowboys And Indians

Joseph O'Connor

All alone, with only his electric guitar and his overactive ego for company, Eddie Virago, proud owner of the last mohican haircut in Dublin, leaves his home town to find fame in the wild world of the London rock scene. Things don't quite go as planned, however, and he finds himself living in a ramshackle hotel with a neurotic girl he met on the ferry over while a bewildering array of acid-house ravers, saloon-bar revolutionaries, music biz wideboys and media primadonnas all seem oh-so-anxious to help Eddie on his way...

Redemption Falls

Joseph O'Connor

1865. The American Civil War is ending. Eighteen years after the famine ship Star of the Sea docked at New York, the daughter of two of her passengers sets out from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a walk across a devastated America. Eliza Duane Mooney is searching for her younger brother she has not seen in four years, one of the hundred thousand children drawn into the war. His fate has been mysterious and will prove extraordinary.

It's a walk that will have consequences for many seemingly unconnected survivors: a love-struck cartographer, a haunted Latina poetess, rebel guerrilla Cole McLaurenson, runaway slave Elizabeth Longstreet and the mercurial revolutionary James Con O'Keeffe, who commanded a brigade of Irish immigrants in the Union Army and is now Governor of a western wilderness where nothing is as it seems.

The Star Of The Sea

Joseph O'Connor

In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. Among them are a maidservant with a devastating secret, bankrupt Lord Merridith and his family, an aspiring novelist, a maker of revolutionary ballads, all braving the Atlantic in search of a new home. Each is connected more deeply than they can possibly know. But a camouflaged killer is stalking the decks, hungry for the vengeance that will bring absolution. The twenty-six day journey will see many lives end, others begin afresh. In a spellbinding story of tragedy and mercy, love and healing, the further the ship sails towards the Promised Land, the more her passengers seem moored to a past which will never let them go.

Inishowen

Joseph O'Connor

Inspector Martin Aitken's life is a mess. Divorced, his career's in chaos, and the last thing he needs this Christmas Even is a strange woman collapsed on a Dublin street. Ellen Donnelly is a woman on a mission, coming to Ireland to find her mother and escape her unfaithful husband. Dr Milton Amery is a New York plastic surgeon. All three of their roads lead to Inishowen.

The Salesman

Joseph O'Connor

It's Dublin, June 1995, the hottest summer since records began. But Billy Sweeney, a middle-aged salesman with a failed marriage, a faltering career and a tumbledown house, has more than weather on his mind. His youngest daughter lies in a coma in hospital following a mysterious attack on the petrol station where she worked. Devastated by the unfolding consequences of that hot, violent night, frustrated by officialdom and failed by the system, Billy finally tires of seeking legal justice. He decides to take the law into his own hands. . .
Joseph O'Connor

Biography

Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. His novels include Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Star of the Sea (Irish Post Award for Fiction, France's Prix Millepages, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European Novel of the Year), Redemption Falls, and Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book Novel, 2011). In 2012 he won the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. His work has been published in thirty-five languages.