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I loved this book in college. It was well written and the main characters (well, the men anyway) were so anarchistic. Drinking, brawling, womanizing...at the time it seemed so compelling. Now, 40 years later, I gave it another try. It did not age well. For one thing, the main character is abusive and exploits the women in his life and you can't help but wonder what they ever saw in him. I could go on, but times change and misogyny just isn't amusing anymore.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
It is like J.P. Donleavy lifted Harold Skimpole out of Hard Times and made a whole whore of a novel of him as a young law student in Dublin. There are novels about drinking and there are novels about being shitfaced. This is a shitfaced novel. It ranks right up there with Lowry's Under the Volcano. Except insead of meszcal, there is plenty of stout and Irish whiskey. The prose is distilled three times: once with food, once with f#cKing, and once with irreverant flippancy (maybe once too for finances, but that would ruin my trinity of distilation image).
But the prose? Dear God, Mary and the baby Modern Library, J.P. Donleavy can write crazy post-Joyce juice. He was rock and roll before rock and roll. His sentences hit you like Mick Jagger dancing on John Bonham third drum stick. It doesn't seem like a long novel, but requires slow, devoted reading. You have to put it down and sober up every few pages. More than 80 pages in one sitting will leave you shitfaced with veins breaking and uncontrolled shaking of the hands.
Go easy my friends, and enjoy drowning in the softness.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful