Robert McLiam Wilson Ripley Bogle: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781611458909

Ripley Bogle: A Novel

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9781611458909: Ripley Bogle: A Novel
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Ripley Bogle, one of the most memorable Irish characters since Leopold Bloom roamed Dublin, is a self-proclaimed bum, an excoriating and expectorating Irish expatriate from Belfast, and a Cambridge dropout. Penniless but unbowed, he wanders the streets of London, treating the reader to the ruminations of his teeming, romping imagination. Here lies the mystery and wonder of this book: How could anyone of Bogle’s prodigious intelligence and powers of perception end up in vagabondage?

Winner of the Irish Book Award, Ripley Bogle spreads before us a fabulous beggar’s banquet: a running commentary of bawdy brilliance and dyspeptic hilarity. No cow is too sacred for Bogle. After acquainting us with his birth and family ( the usual cast from subhuman Gaelic scumbuckets”), he relives his past ( the bathetic dribble of error and reparation”), describes his first experiences with love ( the silken clock that backs the witless levitation of the penis”), and analyzes his Irishness ( crap promoted by Americans and professors of English literature”). Though he gnaws at the fringes of society, Bogle’s keen mind can skewer its fat heart.

Chain-smoking his way around London, young Bogle looks to stitch together the pieces of his ragged life to forgive himself his sins and to find a place of warmth within his own dark thoughts.

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Review:

"I am twenty-one years old, my name is Ripley Bogle and my occupations are starving, freezing, and weeping hysterically." So announces the eponymous narrator of this alternately hilarious and horrifying novel by the Irish writer Robert McLiam Wilson, author of Eureka Street. Ripley Bogle is a Cambridge dropout from Northern Ireland who's fallen down on his luck. Having alienated everyone he knows--seemingly including the entire population of Cambridge--he disrupts an old girlfriend's wedding, attacks his landlord, and finds himself unceremoniously chucked out onto the street. The narrative follows this handsome vagrant for four chilly June days while he wanders London, ranting and reminiscing in heady stream-of-consciousness prose. Reared amid the poverty and violence of Belfast, Bogle doesn't have a kind word for anyone or anything, including his family ("the usual cast list of subhuman Gaelic scumbuckets") and his countrymen ("As a people we're a shambles; as a nation--a disgrace; as a culture we're a bore ... individually we're often repellent"). What he does have is a great Joycean roar of a voice and a prodigious talent for self-destruction. Bogle can try the reader's patience: some of his tirades read like tragicomic howls of pain, others like pure postadolescent gross-out. The novel's end takes a still nastier turn; even after Bogle's unrelentingly grim portrait of life on the London streets, his concluding confessions manage to shock. Ugliness aside, the sheer wattage of Wilson's prose carries the day, and his narrative has all the momentum--and the queasy fascination--of a car accident in progress. --Mary Park

From the Inside Flap:

A Cambridge dropout turned penniless drifter, the unforgettable Ripley Bogle takes us through the underbelly of London and into the surreal world of a vagabond. But Bogle is not your average bum. With a razor-sharp intellect, prodigious powers of perception, and better-than-average appearance ("Most movie stars would give their false back teeth for the kind of lived-in look that I possess"), Bogle careens through the wild streets of homelessness and Irish identity, all the while regaling us with the tale of his ragged Belfast past--and the events that led up to his extraordinary existence.

In a brilliant coupling of sardonic, self-deprecating wit and the lush lyricism of a poet, Robert McLiam Wilson brings us a fiercely modern character with an old soul. Imbued with a grace that is thoroughly at odds with his squalid world, Ripley Bogle gnaws at the fringes of society and skewers its fat heart. The result is a hilarious, unexpectedly touching novel that is destined to become a classic.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781559704243: Ripley Bogle

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1559704241 ISBN 13:  9781559704243
Publisher: Arcade Publishing, 1998
Hardcover

9780345430946: Ripley Bogle (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

Ballan..., 2000
Softcover

9780330313841: Ripley Bogle

Picado..., 1990
Softcover

9780233983929: Ripley Bogle

Andre ..., 1991
Hardcover

9780856404252: Ripley Bogle: A novel

Blacks..., 1989
Softcover

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Book Description Skyhorse Publishing, United States, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Ripley Bogle, one of the most memorable Irish characters since Leopold Bloom roamed Dublin, is a self-proclaimed bum, an excoriating and expectorating Irish expatriate from Belfast, and a Cambridge dropout. Penniless but unbowed, he wanders the streets of London, treating the reader to the ruminations of his teeming, romping imagination. Here lies the mystery and wonder of this book: How could anyone of Bogle's prodigious intelligence and powers of perception end up in vagabondage? Winner of the Irish Book Award, Ripley Bogle spreads before us a fabulous beggar's banquet: a running commentary of bawdy brilliance and dyspeptic hilarity. No cow is too sacred for Bogle. After acquainting us with his birth and family ("the usual cast from subhuman Gaelic scumbuckets"), he relives his past ("the bathetic dribble of error and reparation"), describes his first experiences with love ("the silken clock that backs the witless levitation of the penis"), and analyzes his Irishness ("crap promoted by Americans and professors of English literature"). Though he gnaws at the fringes of society, Bogle's keen mind can skewer its fat heart.Chain-smoking his way around London, young Bogle looks to stitch together the pieces of his ragged life--to forgive himself his sins and to find a place of warmth within his own dark thoughts. Seller Inventory # BTE9781611458909

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