The Journey Home (James A. Michener)

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9780292718067: The Journey Home (James A. Michener)

Shortlisted, Finalist, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, Fiction Category, 2008

Young Francis Hanrahan dreams desperately of a life different from that of his country-born, suburban-living parents. On his first day at his first job Francis makes his first real friend. Shay, a would-be older brother, introduces "Hano" to Dublin's appealingly seedy after-hours bars and drug-fueled parties. They are joined by Cait, a troubled teenager who spends her days in a stupor. But the noir thrills of underground Dublin cannot conceal the unemployment, corruption, and violence strangling the city. The Plunkett brothers, masters of "the subtle everyday corruption on which a dynasty was built" will use the friends—with tragic results.

Torn between his friends, his family, and his own ideals, Hano ultimately falls victim to these powerful forces and commits a heinous crime. He flees through the countryside with Cait, wondering, as he narrates the events that set him on this path, if there is a home at the end of it.

Controversial for its gritty portrait of Dublin in the 1980s, The Journey Home is Dermot Bolger's unflinching look at the personal cost of social progress, and those, innocent or not, lost during the journey.

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About the Author:

DERMOT BOLGER, of Dublin, Ireland, is an award-winning novelist, poet, playwright, and publisher. His many works include the much-lauded novels The Woman's Daughter and The Valparaiso Voyage.

From Publishers Weekly:

Set in the suburbs of Dublin in the early '80s, this novel—Irish poet, playwright and novelist Bolger's third—chillingly portrays a bleak Ireland that offers its youth few options. When Francis Hano Hanrahan finds temporary employment at the voters' register's office, he meets Shay, a charismatic trickster who spins entertainment out of their dreary workplace. As Shay's sidekick, Hano gets caught up in Dublin's nightlife and becomes further estranged from his parents. Before the year is over, Shay leaves for the factories of Germany and Hano's father dies. Left responsible for his mother and four younger siblings, Hano has little choice but to work for local tycoon Pascal Plunkett, whose brother Patrick is a junior minister in the national government. As Pascal's chauffeur and sometime heavy, Hano finds himself ensnared in the Plunkett brothers' ruthless world. By the time Shay returns from the continent, both young men have been irrevocably damaged, and their attempt to free themselves from the Plunketts ends in tragedy. Bolger generates intensity and lyricism from his characters' despair as they spiral into criminality. (Mar.)
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