Orangutan by Colin Broderick
A Memoir

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Few people who have been slave to an addiction as vicious, as destructive, and as unrelenting as Colin Broderick's have lived to tell their tale. Fewer still have emerged from the darkest depths of alcoholism—from the perpetual fistfights and muggings, car crashes and blackouts—to tell the harrowing truth about the modern Irish immigrant experience.

Orangutan is the story of a generation of young men and women in search of identity in a foreign land, both in love with and at odds with the country they've made their home. So much more than just another memoir about battling addiction, Orangutan is an odyssey across the unforgiving terrain of 1980s, '90s, and post-9/11 America.

Whether he is languishing in the boozy squalor of the Bronx, coke-fueled and manic in the streets of Manhattan, chasing Hunter S. Thompson's American Dream from San Francisco to the desert, or turning the South into his beer-soaked playground, Broderick plainly and unflinchingly charts what it means to be Irish in America, and how the grips of heritage can destroy a man's soul. But brutal though Orangutan may be, it is ultimately a story of hope and redemption—it is the story of an Irish drunk unlike any you've met before.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Colin Broderick

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COLIN BRODERICK was born in Birmingham, England, but raised Irish Catholic in the heart of Northern Ireland. He has a four-year-old daughter and lives in Manhattan.
Published November 11, 2009 by Crown. 354 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Broderick cannily manages to convey the sheer fun of drinking to excess and living in a perpetual Bacchanal—his story would be infuriating and incomprehensible without this sense of blissful adventure—which makes the horrifying final stages of his rake’s progress all the more grim.

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Bookmarks Magazine

My goal now is to untangle the stories one word at a time so that they don’t drive me completely mad. Colum McCann: Drink is one of the great levellers of fiction writers.

Jan 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Orangutan: A Memoir

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