Patrick McCabe Call Me the Breeze

ISBN 13: 9780060523886

Call Me the Breeze

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9780060523886: Call Me the Breeze
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In a small town in Northern Ireland, in the troubling psychedelic-gone-wrong atmosphere of the late seventies, Joey Tallon embarks on a journey of selfhood, of redemption, and of rebirth. A man deranged by desire, and longing for belonging, with the words of T. S. Eliot as his guide -- "We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time" -- Tallon searches for his "place of peace," a spiritual landscape located somewhere between Ireland and Iowa, and maybe between heaven and hell.

Following the delusional, but also ultimately likable, Tallon on his quest, we unwittingly enter a world constructed by a character who is arguably more lucid during his acid trips than when he's sober. What begins as a baffling mystery in McCabe's hands becomes a raucous and ribald adventure. From Tallon's punk rock beginnings, to his stewardship of his prison's literary society, to his brief tenure as director of the Youth in Action Creative Arts Awareness Scheme, and finally to his bull-like charge into the political arena, Joey's journey toward enlightenment and deliverance takes readers into the innermost heart of a man at odds with himself and the violent, sometimes surreal world around him.

Hilarious, poignant, and unpredictable, Call Me the Breeze is a literary odyssey five years in the making. It is Patrick McCabe at his absolute best.

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About the Author:

Patrick McCabe was born in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland, in 1955. His other novels include The Butcher Boy, The Dead School, and Call Me the Breeze. With director Neil Jordan, he co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of The Butcher Boy.

From Publishers Weekly:

McCabe's deliciously warped wit is razor-sharp as ever in his latest book (titled after an old J.J. Cale song), which reads alternately like an acid-induced reverie and the naive ramblings of a man trapped between art and reality. Charged with kidnapping and assault, Joey Tallon is sentenced to do time in Mountjoy prison (or "The Joy," as it is ironically called), a fate not much worse than staying in his cramped trailer in Scotsfield, a small border town plagued by violence in 1970s Northern Ireland. While locked up, Joey takes to reading and becomes a founding member of the prison's first literary society. While some of the convicts take a stab at poetry, Joey keeps a diary, which he later reads, "secretly hoping to stumble upon a novel." Newly obsessed with outlandish film projects after his release and still eager to publish a novel, Joey becomes delusional, seeking (unsuccessfully) to involve pop icons like Joni Mitchell, Madonna and Bono in his artistic endeavors and setting himself up as the laughingstock of Scotsfield. Under the spell of his misguided optimism, Joey unwittingly reveals too many secrets about events related to the Troubles, many of which point to the sinister politician Boyle Henry and his minions. Joey has his own share of skeletons in the closet, including some positively Oedipal encounters with a blow-up doll named for his father's long-dead mistress. His creative efforts bury him deeper in a world of illusion, and he continues to pine for his muse, the lovely Jacy, a local girl who may just be a figment of his imagination. McCabe (author of Booker Prize finalists The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto) deftly patches together episodes of Joey's peculiar life using diary excerpts as well as letters and notes from film shoots, yet turns the traditional epistolary novel on its head. What results is the bone-chilling account of a would-be writer who collides with fiction because he takes it too seriously. McCabe is happily not at risk of doing the same, allowing his trademark humor and crafty Irish colloquialisms to leaven even the darkest of scenes.
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