The Temporary Gentleman
5 journalers for this copy...
" Jack McNulty is a 'temporary gentleman', an Irishman whose commission in the British army in the Second World War was never permanent. In 1957, sitting in his lodgings in Accra, he urgently sets out to write his story. He feels he cannot take one step further, or even hardly a breath, without looking back at all that has befallen him.
He is an ordinary man, both petty and heroic, but he has seen extraordinary things. He has worked
and wandered around the world - as a soldier, an engineer, a UN observer - trying to follow his childhood ambition to better himself. And he has had a strange and tumultuous marriage. Mai Kirwan was a great beauty of Sligo in the 1920s, a vivid mind, but an elusive and mysterious figure too. Jack married her, and shared his life with her, but in time she slipped from his grasp.
A heart-breaking portrait of one man's life - of his demons and his lost love - The Temporary Gentleman is, ultimately, a novel about Jack's last bid for freedom, from the savage realities of the past and from himself. "
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I hope you enjoy the book!
The Temporary Gentleman is a fine stand-alone book, linked though with at least two others of the author. It’s a first person narration of the adventurous and mostly sad life of Jack McNulty and of his huge and weird love for his wife, Mai. Two sensitive, talented, charismatic people who are self-destroyable and frivolous too.
This novel is many more things too, as the story touches on many diverse themes. As it happens with all Barry’s novels, the main plot is very “personal” and “specific”, watching the heroes’ choices and conditions, but in the meantime, while the author doesn’t quite focus there, the reader can see how History may influence and often destroy families, personalities, lives, humans…
A very moving story, although it gets a bit exaggerated at times and somehow predictable, especially towards the very end. Even though the protagonists are not always likeable, they are deeply human and the book will leave you full of emotion and with lots of things to contemplate.
It’s wiser to pick this up when in a relaxed mood, although it’s not a relaxed read at all. Be prepared for a demanding, beautiful, bittersweet book that will evoke lots of feeling and lots of thinking…
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Updated Sept 28, 2018
I do not have much to add as I agree with everything Delphi_Reader said. This is a heartbreaking tale that is beautifully written. It is very sad and very moving. I do not want to give any spoilers. This is definitely a book to read when you can spare the time and energy. A very worthwhile read. Thanks for offering this as a bookray.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
It will be sent to grovalskii as soon as I have her address.
Thank you so much for sharing