Read Amongst Women by John McGahern Free Online
Book Title: Amongst Women|
The author of the book: John McGahern
Edition: Faber Faber
Date of issue: June 5th 2008
Loaded: 2857 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
ISBN 13: 9780571225644
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.12 MB
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Did you read any great novels recently about a thoroughly decent man? A guy who wasn’t violent and treated everyone with humanity and tried to look on the bright side? No, me neither. That is why Ulysses is so great. Leopold Bloom is that guy, always trying the cheer up his fellow struggler, always looking on the bright side.
This is another – another – story about a patriarch and how his family must dance around him on hot coals fearing the wrath and looking lively whenever he bestoweth his glance. Boy do these daughters ever love and fear their dear deadly Daddy.
And haven’t we had our bellyful of these vast unpleasant fathers anyhow? What with Hamlet and his usurped ghost, and King Lear all done up like a kipper, and Mr Dombey wanting the daughter to be a boy, and Patrick Melrose absolutely hating on his father his whole life, and the ridiculous Anse Bundren hauling his dead wife around, and Mr Biswas boring everyone to death, and Edward Spencer in his crumbling hotel, and Lord Groan in his ghastly Gormenghast. And let’s not mention The Handmaid’s Tale.
Occasionally we are blessed with goodhearted fathers, how pleasant and delightful to meet them – Nariman Vakeel in Family Matters, Charles Pooter in the ineffable Diary of a Nobody, Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.
But mostly, literature puts daddies through the wringer. That’s okay by me, I should say, mostly they deserve it. I shall be dancing in the street when patriarchy is overthrown. Isn’t it nauseating to see this world tossed around by these big daddies trying to out-penis each other? If it isn’t Saddam Hussein versus George Bush, it’s Vladimir Putin versus all comers (come on. I ain’t scared of any of ya). If it ain’t him it’s the next guy. So the macho dance goes on. None of those guys seem to have read these trenchant dissections of masculinity in all these novels. Did they not get Moby Dick? The clue is in the title.
Still, I could have done without this novel. The depredations of Michael Moran are ordinarily nasty, nothing to speak of, a trillion households will be like this, the daughters trembling and the sons fighting and leaving, who cares. In the end I didn’t care. Okay, the life of a small farmer in 40s to 60s Ireland (as far as I can guess) was prettily detailed, the author sure knows his haymaking and his rural ways. But quite why anyone would put this novel in any list of greatest 100 novels (Robert McCrum) is beyond me.
Blah blah blah 2.5 stars
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Read information about the authorMcGahern began his career as a schoolteacher at Scoil Eoin Báiste (Belgrove) primary school in Clontarf, Ireland, where, for a period, he taught the eminent academic Declan Kiberd before turning to writing full-time. McGahern's second novel 'The Dark' was banned in Ireland for its alleged pornographic content and implied clerical sexual abuse. In the controversy over this he was forced to resign his teaching post. He subsequently moved to England where he worked in a variety of jobs before returning to Ireland to live and work on a small farm in Fenagh in County Leitrim, located halfway between Ballinamore and Mohill. His third novel 'Amongst Women' was shortlisted for the 1990 Man Booker Prize.
He died from cancer in Dublin on March 30, 2006.
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