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Boycott [Paperback]

Colin Murphy
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £11.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Oct 2012

Boycott - a word whose meaning is known the world over. But it once belonged to a man.

Two brothers, Owen and Thomas Joyce, barely survive the horror of the great famine that devastated Ireland in the 1840s. But it left a lasting effect on both of them. Three decades later they are thrown together during the Land War, when evictions and landlord cruelty reach an intolerable level. But Thomas places his trust in the gun, while Owen backs the passive resistance advocated by the Land League. Captain Charles Boycott, an English land agent in Mayo, becomes the first to suffer this new form of revolt, when he and his family are ostracised. It is a David versus Goliath situation, with Boycott supported by the military, the police, the press, the British Government. How can peasants stand against an empire? And how will the two brothers reconcile their differences and confront their troubled past?

A novel of brotherly love and brotherly conflict.

Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Brandon (11 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847173454
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847173454
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.8 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 671,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'a great novel of brothers in conflict during a troubled time'

(Evening Echo)

'engaging and well-paced'

(Books Ireland)

'its achievement is impressive'

(Frank McGuinness)

'Perfectly paced and beautifully written'

(Frank McGuinness)

'There is a great sense of urgency that motivates the book'

(Frank McGuinness)

'His command is impressive and his storytelling masterful'

(Frank McGuinness)

'Marks of a mature novelist and one with many more novels to come'

(Frank McGuinness)

'a stirring and deeply researched story'

(Books Ireland)

'rattling yarn, with action racing along, brilliant twists, flawed heroes and evil villains interspersed with on-the-spot reports from contemporary newspapers and official documents'

(Books Ireland)

'a blockbuster ... vividly brings a forgotten era to life'

(Books Ireland)

'a powerful story of the weak become strong through concerted and determined action ... I look forward to the next novel from this muscular writer'

(Books Ireland)

'brings our history alive'

(Irish Independent)

'firmly rooted in minute research'

(Irish Independent)

'on an historical level, it is a valuable piece of writing'

(Irish Independent)

'he has produced an engaging labour of love novel that reinstates the most successful protest in Irish history into popular consciousness, in an old-fashioned historical saga that deserves a wide readership'

(Irish Independent)

'the story gallops along and keeps the reader attentive and engaged with its lively, vivid, and varied writing'


About the Author

Colin Murphy is the author of The Most Famous Irish People You’ve Never Heard Of and co-author of the bestselling ‘Feckin’ collection (The O’Brien Press). His début historical novel Boycott (Brandon) was published in 2012 to great acclaim. 

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read 25 Nov 2012
Boycott is Murphy's first novel and is based on the real historical events and incorporates actual news coverage of the time.
It's the story of two brothers who survive the Famine. Thirty years later it's the Land War and their ideals differ. Captain Charles Boycott is an English Land agent and he is the first to suffer from a new form of revolt.
Beautifully designed with a sepia tinted photograph, this is one of those books that you can't wait to get stuck into.
Opening with a reminder of the shocking words of Sir Charles Trevelyan's that the real evil of the famine was the 'moral evil of the selfish perverse and turbulent character of the [Irish] people', this from the man responsible for administering relief during the Famine. Each chapter is preceded by a historical record of the time to accurately set the scene. They are fascinating and any history student will recognise the amount of detailed research that Murphy has gone into to bring this novel to fruition, all adding to its validity and the poignancy of events.
We're in 1848, the Famine. Owen and Thomas's mother has died and her infant son Patrick- the only time they'd ever seen their father cry. We're reminded of the travesties of the Famine, the export of food while the people at home starved. None of this is new but it is still none the less shocking however many times we read it. With the father's death they try to avoid the workhouse.
Running parallel to this is Captain Boycott's story on Achill Island. Tough with his tenants his visiting brother reproaches him, "The thing of it is, Charles, you're not in the army now. And your tenants are hardly the enemy". Living on the western edge of the British Empire his brother further criticises him for his contempt of the people, "The land here is extremely poor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Historical Fiction! 19 Dec 2012
By Ado Coz
If you've absolutely any interest in a) the history of Ireland, and in particular the consequences of the infamous, horrific and truly tragic Potato Famine, or b) quality historical fiction, then you really need to read this novel. In equal parts harrowing and uplifting, it tracks the divergent paths taken by two brothers, whose lives are shaped in markedly different ways by the hunger and injustice visited upon them during the Great Famine of the 1840s. The shadows of these events, and the cruelly indifferent colonial rule that contributed to them, still shape Ireland today - and this novel illuminates those terrible times in a fair and even-handed manner while providing a unique insight into the lives of those who suffered and those who survived.

Most importantly, it manages to do all of this by way of a story that's both gripping and entertaining - an impressive feat considering the subject matter and the feelings it still capable of provoking.

Impeccably written and brilliantly researched, this is one novel that will stick in the memory for a very long time.

Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and very vivid 9 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
this is a really exceptional piece of work. the portrayal of the victims of the famine was very haunting and descriptive. this book held my attention until nearly the very last page. i was slightly peeved at how the story concluded but that is my only very minor gripe in an otherwise impressive novel. i am looking forward to reading more from this irish author and i hope he sticks to the historical themes
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