Mondo Desperado by Patrick McCabe
A Serial Novel

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Synopsis

Patrick McCabe has long been recognized as a writer of rare talent and unique voice, whose vision of the world is so distinctive that "McCabesque" has become an adjective with multiple meanings, including "exquisitely, beautifully, mad in the head!"

He was a Booker Prize finalist for The Butcher Boy, which won the Irish Times Aer Lingus/Irish Literature Prize for Fiction and was made into a motion picture directed by Neil Jordan and cowritten by McCabe and Jordan. He was again a Booker Prize finalist for Breakfast on Pluto, which won the Spirit of Life Arts/Sunday Independent Irish Literature Award and was a number one international bestseller.

McCabe has been described as "the lodestone of new Irish fiction" (Wall Street Journal), "a dark. genius of incongruity and the grotesque" (Sunday Observer) and "one of Ireland's finest living writers" (New York Times Book Review).

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune commented on McCabe's "remarkable...ability to induce compassion for the unlikeliest people," and in Mondo Desperado: A Serial Novel, that ability and the full range of his "grotesque genius" (Marie Claire) combine to produce a brilliant, macabre' dementedly funny and surreally imagined fiction of intertwined narratives set in a small Irish town. McCabe himself has described Mondo Desperado as being "like Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio -- on drugs."

In his mondo tales of the insular town of Barntrosna, McCabe assembles a distinctly Irish crew of odd and unusual inhabitants who live on and regularly cross, often unconsciously, the border between fantasy and reality. In "Hot Nights at the Go-Go Lounge," Larry Bunyan is certain his demure wife is secretly out at night with deadbeat swingers, shooting drugs and having wild sex, while in "I Ordained the Devil," the Bishop of Barntrosna confesses that his ordination of Father Packie Cooley was really an ordination of His Satanic Majesty.

Another Barntrosna resident, Dr. John Joe Parkes, discovers "The Valley of the Flying Jennets," the secret place in the mountains created by his Dr. Frankenstein -- type medical ancestor where his horrible, mutated genetic failures live. In the concluding "Forbidden Love of Noreen Tiernan," Noreen escapes Barntrosna, goes to London for nursing school, finds a lesbian lover, and teams up with her to rob and terrorize London until her mother, boyfriend and parish priest bring Noreen back home.

With sly wit, characteristic, brilliant blending of sadness and humor and macabre genius, Mondo Desperado is a wonderfully imagined work of fiction -- McCabe's most dazzling yet -- rom a truly original literary talent.

 

About Patrick McCabe

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Patrick McCabe has been twice short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize in Great Britain. He is considered one of Ireland's major new writers. McCabe was teaching learning-disabled students in a grammar school in London when his third novel, "The Butcher Boy," was published in 1992. The novel is a coming-of-age story written in the voice of its young narrator. The small town that Francie Brady lives in is modeled on the town where McCabe grew up. "The Butcher Boy" was an immediate success, and was nominated for the Booker Prize. It won the top literary prize in Ireland, the Aer Lingus Prize. McCabe's fifth novel, "Breakfast on Pluto," was published in 1998. It too was on the shortlist for the Booker Prize. He has also written several plays, including an adaptation of "The Butcher Boy." Patrick McCabe was born in 1955 in Ireland and was educated at St. Patrick's College in Dublin. He is married to Margot Quinn and has two daughters, Ellen and Katy.
 
Published November 16, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mondo Desperado

Publishers Weekly

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If you spliced Gualtiero Jacopetti's shockumentary Mondo films with the surreal clippings from the Cruiskeen Lawn newspaper column of Myles na Gopaleen (aka Flann O'Brien), the comic result might

Feb 28 2000 | Read Full Review of Mondo Desperado: A Serial Novel

AV Club

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Aptly described as a "serial novel," Mondo Desperado—a fine new collection of short stories from The Butcher Boy...

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Mondo Desperado: A Serial Novel

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