Lagan Love Paperback – Apr 16 2011
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About the Author
PETER MURPHY, a writer and journalist, has written for Rolling Stone, the Sunday Business Post, and others. He has written liner notes for albums and anthologies, including for the remastered edition of the Anthology of American Folk Music, which features the Blind Willie Johnson recording of the song "John the Revelator." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Sinead and Aiden get along well when they are drunk, but when sober, they don't have much to talk about. Aiden is a rising poet and Sinead wants more out of life - in fact - thinks herself better than some. Sinead goes to the same school as Janice as the two become quick friends. Janice meets Aiden through Sinead, and the two quickly connect.
Then there is Gwen, a married woman who has a fling on the side, with Aiden and spends her time looking for new art or artists. When she sees Janice's art, she quickly makes a deal with her and Aiden. But then things begin to turn ugly between Aiden and Janice.
Old Ireland myths, a beautifully woven background, a cast of unique and adept characters set the tone for this phenomenal story of love, loss, and hunger. How much would you be willing to pay to achieve your dream? Is that cost worth the end result, even if you lose something close to you or even yourself? Peter Murphy spins a story bringing to light the darker side of Ireland and how twisted our human psych can become. With twists and turns, erotic scenes and magic, Lagan Love is a fascinating read.
Murphy does a fine job in painting his 1980's Ireland as a place filled with class, socioeconomic, and religious strife. It doesn't take long to see that many characters in Lagan Love are disenchanted with many of the European countries, England being at the top of the list. Many of the characters are prejudice and have no problem throwing around racial remarks involving those in other social classes, of a different faith, or from a different country. This all seemed very realistic to me. However, Murphy also showed his Dubliners as a proud people, who didn't forget history and spoke of it frequently.
The characters in Lagan Love frequently spend their mornings, afternoons, and evenings in pubs drinking, smoking, gossiping, complaining, and speaking about about their times growing up. Murphy makes the pub a familiar place where everybody knows everyone and their business. The Cheers song, "Where everybody knows your name" comes to mind while following the characters from pub to pub.
Religion also plays a role in Murphy's novel. While reading I definitely felt the tension between the Protestants and Catholics. Murphy does a great job in showing what turmoil in the Catholic church can do to men and women in their own homes.
While I enjoyed Lagan Love, it took me a few chapters to get my footing. At times I felt there was too much history and 'sightseeing' being written about, which took away from the characters and their journey. It also took me a while to adjust to the Irish vernacular, however it did make the novel that much more realistic.
I enjoyed watching the character dynamics unfold between Janice and Aidan. When Janice met Aidan she was a shy, self conscious girl. Throughout the novel she evolved into a self confident, daring women. However, Aidan stayed much the same. The novel started showing him as an unhappy, egocentric character and ended much the same. Murphy makes the case that both Janice's evolution and Aidan's stalemate could be linked to Gwen.
I definitely recommend Lagan Love, Peter Murphy's first novel. I look forward to reading more literary work from him.
~Candace Lybarger, Reviewer for Bookpleasures
*I received Lagan Love as a complimentary book from The Fiction Studio through Bookpleasures for this review*
This novel could be set only in Dublin and written by a "Dub".Although I have lived in Nova scotia,the U.S.,Quebec and now Ontario;I made my first visit to Ireland several years ago.I immediately fell in love with everything Irish whether it be the landscape,history,music,literature culture,peopleetc.I guess that my Celtic background has had something to do with it;and since I'll probably never end up living in Ireland,the abundance of Irish literature ,history and music that is available,even here in North America,helps satisfy my interests and wants.
Anyone who visits Ireland will immediately see that it is a very special place that is beyond belief.No matter where one goes there is something of interest,and different ,but unique to Ireland.The cities are totally different from one another and again different from the villages and countryside.
In this book that Peter has written,you will soon get to know what Dublin is all about and what it is to be a Dubliner,or as they like to call themselves ,"Dubs".You might think that the lifestyle you're reading about is fictional;but it sure is not.
Reading the novel,you'll be continually coming across things like Grafton Street,statues of Irish Patriots,Bewley's,Ha'Penny Bridge, the Liffey,Trinity College,Moore Street Market,The Grand Canal,Kilmainham Goal,Steven's Green,Temple Bar,Pubs galore,the ever reminders and pictures,monuments and quotations of Ireland's poets,Writers,Saints and Sinners.Then there are the "ordinary people" such a Molly Malone,the Hags with the Bags",The Bitch in the Ditch". There is simply no end to it,and all these things are everyday part of life and culture in Dublin. As I read this novel,I was continually reminded of these things.Peter evens mentions the statue of Patrick Kavanagh,the poet who wrote the popular ballad,"Raglan Road", sitting on a bench along The Grand Canal where I had my photo taken sitting beside him.It is now my computer Screen saver;and by the way,you can see the identical statue and bench outside the Irish Pub at The Marketplace at Disney World in Florida..
There is no doubt that with the appearance of Peter Murphy with this ,his first novel, we are seeing another writer of the likes of Roddy Doyle,Berndan Behan, Frank McCourt,Brendan O'Carroll,Patrick Taylor and other great Irish writers.
I have,over the years become familiar with much of the Irish culture,history,lifestyle and even the legends but this is the first I'd heard of Lenanshees.
This is a novel that would make a great movie.