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Born & Bred Paperback – Mar 11 2014

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Story Plant (March 11 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611881161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611881165
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,070,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Do you like Irish novels, with love of family, romance, humor and a feel for Dublin and Ireland as a whole? Then this book is a must read!!”
– Celtic Lady Reviews

“The author did a splendid job in portraying many diverse relationships, city life, church life, family life, corruption and crime, which makes it an engaging read.”
– Hotchpotch

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

On the night of Aug 10th, nineteen seventy-seven, Daniel Bartholomew Boyle made the biggest mistake of his young life, one that was to have far-reaching consequences for him and those around him. He might have argued that the course of his life had already been determined by happenings that occurred before he was born but, poor Catholic that he was, riddled with guilt and shame, he believed that he, and he alone, was responsible. He had been dodging the inevitable since Scully got lifted but he knew it was only a matter of time before it caught up with him. Perhaps that was why he paused in front of the old cinema in Terenure after weeks of skulking in the shadows. Perhaps that was why he waited in the drizzle as the passing car turned back and pulled up beside him.

“Get in the car, Boyle.”

Danny wanted to make an excuse – to say that he was waiting for someone – but he knew better.

And it wouldn’t do to keep them waiting. They weren’t the patient sort, twitchy and nervous, and single-minded without a shred of compassion. He looked around but the streets were empty. There was no one to help him now, standing like a target in front of the art deco facade of the Classic.

The cinema had been closed for over a year, its light and projectors darkened, and now lingered in hope of new purpose. He had spent hours in there with Deirdre, exploring each other in the dark while watching the midnight film, stoned out of their minds, back when they first started doing the stuff. He used to do a lot of his dealing there, too, around the back where no one ever looked.

“Come on, Boyle. We haven’t got all fuckin’ night.”

Danny’s bowels fluttered as he stooped to look inside the wet black car. Anthony Flanagan was sitting in the passenger’s seat, alongside a driver Danny had seen around. He was called “The Driller” and they said he was from Derry and was lying low in Dublin. They said he was an expert at knee-capping and had learned his trade from the best. Danny had no choice; things would only get worse if he didn’t go along with them.

“How are ya?” He tested the mood as he settled into the back seat beside a cowered and battered Scully. He had known Scully since he used to hang around the Dandelion Market. He was still at school then and spent his Saturday afternoons there, down the narrow covered lane that ran from Stephen’s Green into the Wonderland where the hip of Dublin could come together to imitate what was going on in the rest of the world – but in a particularly Dublin way.

Dave, the busker, always took the time to nod to him as he passed. Dave was black and played Dylan in a Hendrix way. He always wore an afghan coat and his guitar was covered with peace symbols. Danny would drop a few coins as he passed and moved on between the stalls as Dylan gave way to Horslips, Rory Gallagher, and Thin Lizzy.

The stalls were stacked with albums and tapes, josh sticks and tie-dyed t-shirts with messages like “Peace” and “Love,” pictures of green plants and yellow Happy Faces along with posters of Che, whose father’s people had come from Galway.

The stalls were run by Hippies from such far-out places as Blackrock and Sandyford, students from Belfield and Trinity, and a select few from Churchtown. They were all so aloof as they tried to mask their involvement in commercialism under a veneer of cool. Danny knew most of them by sight, and some by name. On occasion he’d watch over their stalls when they had to get lunch or relieve themselves. He was becoming a part of the scene.


“Hey Boyle!”

Danny had seen Scully around before but they had never spoken. Scully, everyone said, was the guy to see about hash and acid, and, on occasion, some opium.

“You go to school in Churchtown?”

Danny just nodded, not wanting to seem over-awed.

“Wanna make some bread?”

“Sure. What do I have to do?”

“Just deliver some stuff to a friend. He’ll meet up with you around the school and no one will know – if you’re cool.”

Danny thought about it for a moment but he couldn’t say no. He had been at the edge of everything that happened for so long. Now he was getting a chance to be connected – to be one of those guys that everybody spoke about in whispers. Sure it was a bit risky but he could use the money and, besides, no one would ever suspect him. Most people felt sorry for him and the rest thought he was a bit of a spaz.

“Could be a regular gig – if you don’t fuck it up,” Scully smiled a shifty smile and melted back into the crowd, checking over each shoulder as he went.


As they drove off, Scully didn’t answer and just looked down at his hands. His fingers were bloody and distorted like they had been torn away from whatever he had been clinging onto.

Anto turned around and smiled as the street lights caught in the diamond beads on the windshield behind him. “We’re just fuckin’ fine, Boyle. We’re taking Scully out for a little spin in the mountains.”

His cigarette dangled from his thin lips and the smoke wisped away ambiguously. He reached back and grabbed a handful of Scully’s hair, lifting his bruised and bloodied face. “Scully hasn’t been feeling too good lately and we thought that a bit of fresh air might sort him out, ya know?”

“Cool,” Danny agreed, trying to stay calm, trying not to let his fear show – Anto fed off it. He briefly considered asking them to drop him off when they got to Rathfarnham but there was no point. He knew what was about to go down. Scully had been busted a few weeks before and, after a few days in custody, had been released.

It was how the cops set them up. They lifted them and held them until they broke and spilled all that they knew. Then they let them back out while they waited for their court date. If they survived until then – well and good. And if they didn’t – it saved everybody a lot of time and bother.

Danny sat back and watched Rathfarnham Road glide by in the night. They crossed the Dodder and headed up the hill towards the quiet, tree-lined streets that he had grown up in. As they passed near his house he thought about it: if the car slowed enough he could risk it – just like they did in the pictures. He could jump out and roll away. He could be up and running before they got the car turned around and by then he would be cutting through the back gardens and could easily lose them.

“You live around here, don’t ya, Boyle?” Anto spoke to the windshield but Danny got the message. “And your girlfriend – she lives down that way?”

Danny thought about correcting him. He hadn’t seen Deirdre since the incident in the church but there was no point. They’d use anybody and anything to get to him. He was better off just going along with them for now.

He briefly thought about asking God to save him but there was no point in that, either. They had given up on each other a long time ago. He turned his head away as they approached the church where he had been confirmed into the Faith, so long ago and far away now.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book was a real page turner for me. From the moment I started reading it I was captivated by the characters and their interwoven story lines. I am intrigued to learn more about Danny Boyle and where life is taking him. Can't wait for book two in this trilogy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...and he would never speak about the days when darkness was the only light." April 15 2014
By Jerry Guild - Published on
Format: Paperback
Peter Murphy is a brand new writer to me ,and what a pleasure it was to read this,his second novel.My son-in Law,who grew up in Ireland,got it at a book launching here in Toronto.He knows my fondness for Irish novels and thought I'd Like it.I have read all of Roddy Doyle's ,the McCourt's,Brendan O'Carroll's,Brendan Behan's,Patrick Taylor,s Morgan Llywelyn's ,novels and many,many others by Irish writers.I have no hesitation in saying that Peter Murphy is one heck of a good writer,and his novels,his first two,and the many that are sure to follow;will deserve to be on the bookshelf,along with the writers I've mentioned.
This novel is 385 pages long,but is so interesting and well constructed,that it reads like a novel half its length.The Irish writers I enjoy are the ones that can capture the customs,personalities,language,trials and tribulations of life,the importance of the Church,the Family,the Authorities and the Politics Culture and History of Ireland and how they impact on people.Peter Murphy does this with all the characters and virtually on every page of this book.
Irish novels can cover long periods as well as relatively short periods as does this one that covers the mid 70's.This was a period of significant change encompassing the Troubles and Bloody Sunday,the changes in Church influence,the youth finding their way outside the family,changes in music,introduction of the drug culture,the neverending ups and downs of employment,etc.
However,Murphy shows that no matter how much things change,things still remain the same..Irish that is!. The story of many novels could take place in many countries;but the story and characters in "Born & bBred" could take place only in Ireland;and can only be written about by someone who has lived through it,as Peter Murphy has.
I particularly liked the "Sin a bhfuil"on the last paqe where Peter tells us that this novel is not about him.I was glad he told us as it had crossed my mind that it was.
To readers of this novel,I would suggest you keep a running list of the characters as they appear,as there are many,and it would help in keeping them sorted out.
While this novel stands alone;one has to wonder what the future will bring to all the characters,and I am sure Peter will be telling us all about what lies ahead .
4.0 out of 5 stars An Irish tale Oct. 6 2015
By Beth Cutwright - Published on
Format: Paperback
Finally, I was able to place my hands on Book one in the Life and Times trilogy.
It baffles me that sometimes there are so many books to read and I can't get to the ones I really want to spend my time with. Who am I kidding....I want to read them all!

Last January I reviewed book 2 in this Irish series and I was left somewhat confused by the number of characters and their purposes in Danny Boyles story. Let me state right now that this author, Peter Murphy, is a fabulous storyteller.
His writing flows smoothly and consistently weaving a tale of growing up and those who influence Danny along the way. What we do is often not what we envision for our lives or the vision that others have for us. Sometimes, it just is what it is.

I am seriously interested in how Murphy will bring Danny Boyle's story to a conclusion in book three, All Roads. Will Danny truly become the angel he was thought to be by some, or will he continue to be sinner/saint?
5.0 out of 5 stars Born & Bred March 10 2014
By Kathleen Kelly - Published on
Format: Paperback
Danny Boyle seems to be doomed from birth, what with his mother, Jacinta, being in a hospital for mental issues and a father, Jerry, that is not around. His grandmother, Nora, thinks the sun rises and sets in Danny though, so he has a chance but when she becomes ill, he gets into the wrong crowd and becomes involved in a murder. He just seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting deeper and deeper in trouble. He meets Deirdre but gets into trouble again when they are found in a church in a compromising situation. Things escalate from there with the priests getting involved with both Danny and Deirdre's families, hoping to ease the situation. There are a few side stories but they all come together nicely to give the reader a better understanding into Danny and what he has to deal with.

This is a novel that is character driven during a time in 1970's Dublin that is full of strife, where the Catholic Church plays a major role in family life. I like how Mr.Murphy had the characters speak, each chapter giving the reader more of a clue into the family life of each one and the changes that occur over a period of time. Full of Irish witticism, history and a bit of the supernatural,this series is one to definitely read. I look forward to the continuation of Danny's life.I love the cover of the book, almost like Danny is looking to be redeemed for his sins via Nora or Jesus. Do you like Irish novels, with love of family, romance, humor and a feel for Dublin and Ireland as a whole?? Then this book is a must read!! You did it again Peter Murphy!!!

I would like to thank The Story Plant and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book. I was not monetarily compensated for my review.
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely story masterfully told June 13 2014
By brendan - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a timely book, set as it is in the Dublin in the 1970s, a pivotal decade in Irish history when, thanks to access to television and affordable travel abroad, the nation's young people got a taste of what life was like beyond Paddy's green shamrock shore, and it began to dawn on them that they didn't have to put up with the stultifying, priest-ridden, Soviet-like drabness in which the country had been mired since the forces of conservatism prevailed in the counter-revolution that followed the War of Independence, when the Free State that constituted 26 of Ireland's 32 counties won its independence from the United Kingdom.
It is in this milieu where Danny Boyle, the protagonist of Born and Bred, comes of age. Recently uncovered scandals are evidence of the sordid underbelly of the authoritarian zeitgeist against which young people like Danny (and, I suspect, the book's author) instinctively rebelled - a rebellion which found voice in Banana Republic, a chart-topping song written by Bob Geldoff and recorded by The Boomtown Rats.
The 1970s was also the decade in which the Troubles erupted in Northern Ireland and brought the gun back to Irish politics. It was the decade when the Irish drug trade, which heretofore was dominated by a few longhairs tripping home from Amsterdam or Marrakesh with a bit of weed to flog to their peers, was taken over by organised crime and heroin became a deathly plague that ravaged the poor of Dublin's inner city. And it was the decade when the criminal underworld, where gangsters and subversives interfaced in occasionally common purpose, burgeoned into a thriving enterprise at the heart of a corrupt and sick society.
This is the world that is masterly evoked in this book, the first book in a trilogy recounting the Boyle family saga, and it is in this world where Danny finds himself entangled in a sequence of events wrought by the confluence of sinister forces. He is a typical young man of the period - outwardly cocky and capable while inwardly awkward and lost. He comes from what the Irish used to call "good stock", his late grandfather having been a senior operative in the War of Independence and, subsequently, a government minister, so the family name still carries some weight in political and republican circles. Danny's parents have their demons to fight, his dad, Jerry, being an alcoholic and his mother, Jacinta, suffering from a debilitating psychological condition; so he has been mostly reared by his grandmother, Nora, a devout Catholic, canny matriarch and shrewd operator who dotes on him and devotes all her energies and guile to ensuring his welfare.
Mightily unsure of himself and struggling to find a foothold on life, Danny makes a sketchy living by busking in the Dandelion Market (Dublin's tame equivalent to Haight-Ashbury) and selling dope for the local dealer, Anto Flanagan. But trouble is brewing between Anto and the Republican gunmen with whom he does business and on top of this there is internecine squabbling afoot in the subversive camp. As is the way with hapless dupes, Danny gets caught in the middle of these nefarious dealings and layered betrayals. Set up as a patsy, his life is on the line.
But he's not without his allies. Deirdre, the girl he loves, loves him back despite the disapproval of her father, a self-appointed pillar of the community and defender of the status quo. Danny's father, Jerry, may be an alcoholic but he is not a lost cause and not without his own resources. Father Martin, his mother's brother, is an idealistic young priest who endeavours to do the right thing despite the dogmatic prejudices of his superiors - and who struggles to choose between his vocation and his feelings for a former nun. And last but not least there's Nora, his devoted grandma whose ghost continues to look out for him after Nora has left this mortal coil.
Born and Bred is part historical fiction, part political thriller and part social commentary. With a bit of magical realism thrown into the mix it makes for a commanding read and a compulsive page-turner. Will the forces of good prevail? Will Danny live to fight another day. Will he and Deirdre find a way to make their love work? Will Jerry and Jacinta master their demons?
The answers are all in this great book. Read them and weep.
Available from Amazon
4.0 out of 5 stars One unlucky life April 2 2014
By Kerry M - Published on
Format: Paperback
Danny Boyle would seem to be the unluckiest man on Earth. On his own as a child after his mother is hospitalised for mental illness and his father has taken off, Danny is raised by his grandmother, Nora. After her death, Danny falls in with the wrong people and before he knows what has happened he is involved in murder. Hapless Danny seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As he gets himself into more and more trouble he meets Deirdre. But even in relationships, Danny courts trouble. Danny and Deidre are found in a church in a compromising position. Set in Dublin in the 1970's, Born & Bred tells of a time of strife and one where the Catholic Church was heavily involved in family life, this story paints a picture of a Irish life.

I was given a free copy of this book from Netgalley to provide an honest opinion.