Larry Kirwan Rockin' the Bronx

ISBN 13: 9780863224188

Rockin' the Bronx

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9780863224188: Rockin' the Bronx
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On a rash quest to track down his girlfriend Mary, na´ve Irishman Sean Kelly becomes embroiled in the hellish wasteland of the 1980s Bronx. He stays on, determined to uncover the reason behind the sudden change in Mary. But the only job available for an undocumented Paddy is hard labor, and the only solace is found in beer and music. A vibrant, colorful evocation of New York City in the watershed years through the eyes of four young Irish immigrants, Rockin' the Bronx captures the visceral realities of life and death in the Irish slum-scape on Bainbridge Avenue. Faced with the excesses of the early 80s: drugs, aids, the Burning Bronx, and at home, the Troubles, Sean eventually emerges into manhood. ""Larry Kirwan writes with all the charm of his music. This is Angela's Ashes for a new generation.""--Thomas Keneally. ""A tremendous rock `n' roll saga . The prolific Kirwan offers writing about the transformative and curative powers of music and performance that is brilliant on its own, but his lovingly rendered portrait of American and Irish social and political realties in the 1980s is both brutal and magical."" -Library Journal ""A brilliant tales set in the gritty streets of the Yankee borough that was the epicenter of Irish Americana during the early eighties."" - Irish Voice ""Rockin' the Bronx has a headlong momentum and street-level immediacy, teeming with drama, romance, and politics."" - Philadelphia Inquirer

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From Publishers Weekly:

Pitting the lilt of an Irish brogue against the jazzy rhythm of pimps and drug dealers in the Bronx of the early 1980s, Irish-American author and playwright Kirwan (Green Suede Shoes) begins this roman à clef with arresting musicality. Intending to find his girlfriend, Mary, and return with her to Ireland, narrator Sean straps a guitar to his back and heads to New York. Despite his punk pretensions, Sean finds himself woefully unequipped to handle the New World problems that quickly arise: Mary and her new friend Danny are moody and inaccessible, and the unrelenting poverty, drugs, and racial and political tension leave Sean seeking escape in a bottle. As his musical and romantic dreams fade, so does the hopeful vibrancy that had made things bearable. In Sean's struggle, Kirwan captures a traumatic American moment, when relative innocents were confronting the rising epidemics of crack and AIDS, as well as intractable urban poverty; unfortunately, he drags out Mary and Danny's mystery afflictions to grating effect. Still, Sean's sometimes-obtuse narration never fully loses the thumping, violent rhythm of its opening passages.
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Review:

A tremendous rock n roll saga ... The prolific Kirwan offers writing about the transformative and curative powers of music and performance that is brilliant on its own, but his lovingly rendered portrait of American and Irish social and political realties in the 1980s is both brutal and magical. --Library Journal "Larry Kirwan writes with all the charm of his music. This is Angela's Ashes for a new generation. --Thomas Keneally

"Rockin' the Bronx has a headlong momentum and street-level immediacy, teeming with drama, romance, and politics." - Philadelphia Inquirer
"Pitting the lilt of an Irish brogue against the jazzy rhythm of pimps and drug dealers in the Bronx of the early 1980s, Irish-American author and playwright Kirwan begins this roman a clef with arresting musicality." --Publishers Weekly

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Kirwan, Larry
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