Mondo Desperado

by Patrick McCabe | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0060194618 Global Overview for this book
Registered by MrSamsa of Tucson, Arizona USA on 11/6/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by MrSamsa from Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, November 06, 2020

You may not have heard of Phildy Hackball, but thanks to Patrick McCabe--and, we're told, to "an ingenue of an English publisher who had never been in Ireland before"--you're about to get your chance. Hackball is the putative author of Mondo Desperado, a collection of short stories that explore the underbelly of provincial Barntrosna. And what an underbelly it is! McCabe's mouthpiece delivers all the graphic details on Declan Coyningham, the holiest boy in town by far, who seems headed for a life in the church until the locals decide that his inflated prospects need further inflating (literally). Then there's Cora Bunyan, the narrator's wife, who's been enjoying one too many Hot Nights at the Go-Go Lounge. And let us not overlook a cameo by the actual Bruce Lee, who importunes Hackball to be his ghost writer. Some would have it that the kung fu maestro is just a waiter from the Red Lotus Temple restaurant in Mullingar, but the narrator is nonetheless determined to maintain the highest literary standards:

I wish my story to be as near perfect as possible. To outline and candidly delineate not just the background to my years of friendship with Bruce Lee but that of the martial arts as we have come to know them--the heists, the head-busting she-wolves, the drug lords, the torn trousers, the pieces of other films that get stuck in by accident. And until I have that story told to my satisfaction, I see no point in concerning myself unduly as to whether I receive the occasional letter from a publisher or not.
McCabe's follow-up to Breakfast on Pluto (which made the Booker Prize shortlist) confirms him as one of Ireland's most distinctive and inimitable voices. The stories in Mondo Desperado seem to emanate from some parallel universe, but with their diseased take on national stereotypes, they provide an incisive, viciously cruel commentary on some of Ireland's most sacred cows. And in the end, Phildy Hackball is a wonderfully naive drinking companion, forever leading us up the wrong alleyway. Each time you think you're safely at home, another satiric grenade goes off in your face. Read, laugh, and be afraid.
--Alan Stewart

Journal Entry 2 by MrSamsa at Reid Park (see release notes for details) in Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Released 1 wk ago (5/4/2021 UTC) at Reid Park (see release notes for details) in Tucson, Arizona USA


Left west of the stairs to DeMeester.

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