Brooklyn Paperback – Mar 19 2010
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“Tóibín’s genius is that he makes it impossible for us to walk away.”
— The New Yorker
"Brooklyn is Colm Tóibín's most beautifully executed novel to date.... Reading Tóibín is like watching an artist paint one small stroke after another until suddenly the finished picture emerges to shattering effect."
— Times Literary Supplement
"Disarmingly effective and affecting."
— National Post
"A small masterpiece"
— The Guardian
"Tóibín is himself a master — like his countryman William Trevor — of a kind of deep gentleness, even as the darkness falls on his characters.... Here is a writer who quietly watches and reports, shocked at nothing, missing nothing."
— Globe and Mail
About the Author
Colm Tóibín’s most recent novel, The Master, won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His other books of fiction include The Story of the Night, The Blackwater Lightship, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the short fiction collection Mothers and Sons. Tóibín was one of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize judges in Toronto. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found that the heroine had a far easier immigrant experience than other Irish immigrants of the time. Nevertheless, the story is still credible in its own way. The more I read, the more I became absorbed by the story. It is the last quarter of the book that brings the satisfaction and a little conflict into the tale. Now that I've read the book, I most definitely want to see the movie.
All in all, I found this to be a very solid read, albeit slow. For those who love character driven novels, and who love to explore the human psyche, this is one of the best.
Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The secondary love affair of Eilis did not ring true for a second and the ending of the novel left me frustrated and feeling slightly ripped off.
However, the book got 3 stars from me for the vivid descriptions of small town Ireland and its characters in the 60's and the crossing by liner to New York in that era was beautifully done.
Would I go back to Toibin for second helpings? No.
If you think that was a generic synopsis, wait till you read this book. It's nothing but generic sentences lumped into non-descript paragraphs. There is very little 'in the moment' action and every page reads like a summary ("She went to work and then came home," etc.) Nothing much happens until the last 30 pages.
There is neither action, drama, nor antagonist and I would hardly call Eilis a heroine; she's meek and mousy, says yes to everything, and is so stoic she lacks personality. Reading this book was like looking at a painting through gauze; it was okay but lacked enough detail to make me really like it.
The story is set in Ireland and Brooklyn in the 1950s after World War Two. Eilis Lacey lives in the town of Enniscorthy with her mother, a widow with a small pension and her dynamic and glamorous sister, Rose. Her three brothers, Jack, Pat and Martin left home for Birmingham in search of work. Rose works in the office of Davis's Mills and earns a very good salary. Her wages pay for most of their needs. She belongs to a golf club and surrounds herself with affluent people.
Eilis has taken bookkeeping classes and is good with numbers and details. The only job available was working in a grocery shop on Sundays for Miss Kelly, the owner. She is a mean spirited woman, who once gave Eilis a stale bread to take home to her mother. Rose feels that Eilis could do much better than that.
Rose hears that Father Flood is in Ireland to visit his family. He now lives in the U.S. and has his parish in Brooklyn. Rose played golf with Father Flood and she sets up an appointment. She speaks to him about Eilis and how difficult it is to get a job and to meet men. He tells Rose that Brooklyn has great opportunities for a young person and he will speak to one of his parishioners, an Italian merchant.
When Father Flood returns to Brooklyn, his Italian parishioner, who owns a department store, has an opening on the floor for a sales person. If she does well, there would be plenty of opportunity to advance. Father Flood tells Rose how to proceed. She phones a friend in the American Embassy and was sent the required documents. Rose arranges everything.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A disappointing read because it's not well-written. The characters are not well developed. Too bad because the subject is an interesting one and was repeated many times in real... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Grammomster
I never received it. Have been meaning to call!!!!! What happened???!!!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loved the movie and enjoyed the novel as well. Some elements vary between the movie and novel but the overall storyline and conclusion are very similar.Published 4 months ago
Colm Toibin writes beautifully and with great sensitivity - his books are keepers to be cherished and re-read with delight. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elaine Rivet
Excellently well written story. Great fun for an immigrant from the fifties!Published 4 months ago by Fraggle
I have yet to see the movie, hope it better than the book.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer