Darkly funny, shockingly raw, and everywhere making the English language do tricks the British never intended, Malachy tells this story with passion, wit, irreverence, and charm
In 1952, travelling steerage, Malachy McCourt left a childhood of poverty in Limerick, Ireland, heading for the promise of America. This is the story of what he brought with him, and what he thought he left behind.
Larger than life, a world-class drinker, McCourt carved out a place for himself in New York City: in the saloons, as the first celebrity bartender, mixing with socialites, writers, and movie stars, on stage and on television, where the tales he spun made him a Tonight Show regular.
He had money and women and, eventually, children of his own; and that's when he found he had not left his memories as far behind as he had thought. He had no choice but to stop and turn and face his past.
Darkly funny, shockingly raw, and everywhere making the English language do tricks the British never intended, Malachy McCourt, a true original, tells this story with passion, wit, irreverence, and charm.
Excerpt from Chapter One
There is a story in our family that one day my mother was strolling along with my brother Frank and myself, and pushing our twins in a pram. A huge black motorcar stopped at the kerb, and out hopped a smartly dressed chauffeur, who opened the rear door for a bejeweled, befurred grande-dame type of woman who, putting the well-shod feet on the ground, commanded the mother to stop, which she did promptly. Then the grande dame waxed lyrical on the subject of myself--how, she had never seen a more beautiful little boy: the blonde hair, the gleaming teeth, the gorgeous skin, and the smile--and bow she would pay any amount of money to the mother to allow her to adopt me.
The mother, as the story is told, thought, and thought, and thought, and said it was an attractive proposition, but she couldn't think of a way to explain my disappearance to my father, who had not yet disappeared himself, so she reluctantly declined the offer.
In later years, &...
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In the grand tradition of landmark memoirs - a classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it's also a moving portrait of one boy's struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.
The story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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