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The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman [Hardcover]

J. P. Donleavy
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1977
Once the squire of the mansion Andromeda Park and now a mere menial, Darcy Dancer embarks upon a series of adventures across the country and in bohemian Dublin in search of his lost youth. A hilariously comic, poignant novel of a remarkable young man's coming of age.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Blue strips of sky between bleak clouds this chill day before Christmas as winter entrenched across the remote midlands of Ireland. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and sublime March 12 2000
J.P. Donleavy may well be the most hilarious writer on the planet. Darcy Dancer is a Bildungsroman about the coming of age of a young, educated member of the landed gentry in Ireland. He learns about love first- and second-hand through the auspices of a broad range of tutors including the brilliant Mr. Arland, a stablehand named Foxy, the sublime Miss Von B, the artist Clarissa, school chums, butlers and Rashers Ronald. Kildare wanders from one total fiasco of his own making to the next from the hunt and the stables to the mansions of the gentry and private schools and Dublin high society. He always emerges through chance and pluck and the kindness of others none the worse for wear and perhaps slightly wiser. What are we to make of this dubious young "gentleman"? As Kildare correctly surmises: "Every madman thinks everyone else is mad." Donleavy writes with a unique pointillism, using words as brush strokes, that is engaging, endearing and even breathtaking as each chapter ends on a brief poetic note, a pithy line of stacked type. The dialogue is outrageously real and human and uproarious. The character development is precise and each character lives and breathes with a separate unique identity that only a supremely talented writer can render so credibly. Having real nearly all his books, Darcy Dancer is his best: it's truly a well-written, literary comedy. Discover J.P. Donleavy -- possibly the most under-rated writers alive. You'll laugh your head off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Destinies of Darcy Dancer Gentleman April 28 2002
This was the second Donleavy novel I read back in 1980. Since then I have read all of his novels and biographies. This book is also the reason that i stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel.
Full of gratuitous sex, violence drunken ribaldry, indeed it is almost a training manual for students.
It opens the door to positive thinking and instils in one that when things are really bad, they are not as bad as they are going to get, but never give up.
Learn negotiating skills, if a fist in the gob doesn't work, buy your man a drink.
Sex education, from aristocrats, whores, artists, teachers, plebean masses.
In all an excellent life changing book in which Donleavy displays true comic genius and has caused me hours of laughter.
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By A Customer
Darcy Dancer live's among the Irish aristocracy. This seems to be something of an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp as the aristocracy is disorderd, drunk and badly behaved. That said, J.P. Donleavy manages to take havoc and add order, excellent writing and a good plot to a fairly slender novel that had me weeping with laughter throughout. His father chasing him through the house, only to crash through a rotted floor to the waist was perfect and only to be outdone by the fox hunt.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stylistic romp Sept. 20 1999
By A Customer
You know - I've always found it odd that the few, the proud, the wierd, who share my literary tastes have never even heard of J.P. Donleavy. While the Ginger Man will always be hard to beat, Destinies isn't far behind. It takes about ten seconds to become hopelessly addicted to Donleavy's style and about five seconds to fall in love with Darcy Dancer and his adventures. Just a wonderful, wonderful novel from one of the most under-appreciated writers of our time.
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By A Customer
This is one of Donleavy's best. It contains everything you could ask for in a book. A tragic love story, meaningless sex, drunken riots, and plain Irish fun. Darcy Dancer is tragic and hilariously funny at the same time. You never know if you will be laughing or crying at the turn of each page.
Read it.
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