Ordinary Decent Criminals

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9780008134778: Ordinary Decent Criminals

An engrossing commentary on the intersection of politics and human relationships, set in turbulent Northern Ireland.

For ten years, Estrin Lancaster has fled Philadelphia. From the Philippines to Berlin, she's been a traveler without a destination, an expatriate without a motherland. In each of the cities Estrin favors, she manages an apartment, a job, a lover, and she never tarries past the first signs of ennui.

Her latest destination is Belfast, in Northern Ireland. After twenty years of ritualized violence, this city too is exhausted -- a town where when one more bomb explodes in the city center, old ladies blow the dust off their treacle cakes and count their change. Here the lanky and spiteful Farrell O'Phelan, former purveyor of his own bomb-disposal service, technically Catholic but everyone's aggravation, wrangles through the maze of factions in the North by despising every side. Farrell's affair with the curious Estrin is nonetheless a meeting of two loners; like hers, Farrell's marathoning around the planet has become a running in place. In deadlocked Northern Ireland, it has become harder and harder to believe that anything is happening at all.

A grand tragicomedy -- one of the earliest displays of the ambition and intelligence that has since earned Lionel Shriver worldwide acclaim -- Ordinary Decent Criminals is about conflict groupies, people terrified of domesticity, who stir up anguish in their lives and their countries to avoid the greater horror of what lies closest to home.

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From the Back Cover:

For ten years, Estrin Lancaster has fled Philadelphia. From the Philippines to Berlin, she's been a traveler without a destination, an expatriate without a motherland. In each of the cities Estrin favors, she manages an apartment, a job, a lover, and never tarries past the first signs of ennui.

Her latest destination is Belfast, in Northern Ireland. After twenty years of ritualized violence, this city, too, is exhausted—a town in which if one more bomb explodes in the city center, old ladies blow the dust off their treacle cakes and count their change. Here the lanky and spiteful Farrell O'Phelan, former purveyor of his own bomb-disposal service, technically Catholic but everyone's aggravation, wrangles through the maze of factions in the North by despising every side. Farrell's affair with the curious Estrin is nonetheless a meeting of two loners; like hers, Farrell's marathoning around the planet has become like running in place. In deadlocked Northern Ireland, it has become harder and harder to believe that anything is happening at all.

A grand tragicomedy—one of the earliest displays of the ambition and intelligence that has since earned Lionel Shriver worldwide acclaim—Ordinary Decent Criminals is about conflict groupies, people terrified of domesticity who stir up anguish in their lives and their countries to avoid the greater horror of what lies closest to home.

About the Author:

Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose books include Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire, and many other publications. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio, and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the Orange Prize-winning author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN comes a bold and savage story of the intersection of politics and human relationships, set in turbulent Northern Ireland. Having abandoned Philadelphia for the life of an international nomad, Estrin Lancaster has a taste for hot spots. She now finds herself in Belfast, a city scarred by twenty years of ritualised violence. As the former purveyor of his own bomb-disposal service, Farrell O Phelan courts the company of destruction. Technically a Catholic, he shuns allegiance of any kind. For these two, normal life is anathema; love is a trap. What ensues is an affair between two loners who are beset with a fear of domesticity and a hunger for devastation. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008134778

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the Orange Prize-winning author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN comes a bold and savage story of the intersection of politics and human relationships, set in turbulent Northern Ireland. Having abandoned Philadelphia for the life of an international nomad, Estrin Lancaster has a taste for hot spots. She now finds herself in Belfast, a city scarred by twenty years of ritualised violence. As the former purveyor of his own bomb-disposal service, Farrell O Phelan courts the company of destruction. Technically a Catholic, he shuns allegiance of any kind. For these two, normal life is anathema; love is a trap. What ensues is an affair between two loners who are beset with a fear of domesticity and a hunger for devastation. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008134778

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Book Description The Borough Press / Harper Collins, London, 2016. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 21 cms. 480pp. From the Orange Prize-winning author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN comes a bold and savage story of the intersection of politics and human relationships, set in turbulent Northern Ireland.Having abandoned Philadelphia for the life of an international nomad, Estrin Lancaster has a taste for hot spots. She now finds herself in Belfast, a city scarred by twenty years of ritualised violence.As the former purveyor of his own bomb-disposal service, Farrell O?Phelan courts the company of destruction. Technically a Catholic, he shuns allegiance of any kind.For these two, normal life is anathema; love is a trap. What ensues is an affair between two loners who are beset with a fear of domesticity and a hunger for devastation. Bookseller Inventory # 301814

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