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Desperadoes [Paperback]

Joseph O'Connor
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Feb 2010
A telephone call shatters the calm of a Dublin summer morning bringing terrible news from war-torn Nicaragua: Johnny Little has been caught up in a mysterious skirmish and killed. Grief-stricken, his estranged parents Frank and Eleanor set out on the arduous journey to bring their wayward son home. It's a quest that will have profound consequences: in this hauntingly beautiful land of poetry, guns and frantic salsa music, nothing is quite what it seems ...

Frequently Bought Together

Desperadoes + Cowboys And Indians + The Salesman
Price For All Three: £30.07

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  • The Salesman £8.09

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (26 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006546978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006546979
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An astonishing display of assured, emotive, witty writing. Read it.' Independent on Sunday 'This is a very entertaining novel. It is also a generously humane one.' Sunday Times 'Ireland's most brilliant storyteller.' Sunday Independent 'Desperadoes is an intelligent thriller that attempts to explore the way in which children always remain a mystery to the people who raise them.' New Statesman

From the Back Cover

All alone, with his electric guitar and overactive ego for company, Eddie Virago, proud owner of the last mohican haircut in Dublin, leaves his hometown to find fame in the wild world of the London rock scene. A bewildering array of acid-house ravers, saloon-bar revolutionists, music biz wideboys and media primadonnas all seem oh-so anxious to help Eddie on his way..

"Eddie Virago is the best fictitious Irish immigrant to arrive over here since Edna O'Brien sent 'The Country Girls' to London over twenty-five years ago. With 'Cowboys and Indians', Joseph O'Connor emerges as the most immediate voice to come out of Ireland in years."
MIRABELLA

"This is an impressive debut: a good story, well told, great characters, with sardonic, very knowing digs at youthful pretension… clever, wry and often hilarious."
TIME OUT

"Well-written, tremendously confident… O'Connor has managed the almost impossible: he has created a thoroughly unlikeable hero whom the reader, while detesting, actually worries about. An excellent debut."
IRISH INDEPENDENT

"Very funny… full of sharp, tightly-focused realism… This is an immensely readable and entertaining book, full of truth about the world we live in, without a dull moment."
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

"'Cowboys and Indians' has characters that leap out at you like figures in a pop-up book. Joseph O'Connor's first novel suggests he's bound for fame."
OBSERVER

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Desperadoes is, in my opinion, the best book that Joseph O'Connor has written. The story concerns an estranged couple, Frank and Eleanor Little and their search for their missing son in Nicaragua. The frosty atmosphere between Frank and Eleanor is in stark contrast to the heat of Nicaragua and the strained relationship between Frank and the members of his son's band which on a number of occasions threatens to boil over. Personality clashes become inevitable in the confines of a VW Camper. A hippy called Smokes quickly endears himself to the reader and so vivid is the writing that you will soon be joining Frank, Eleanor and the band members in their VW Camper searching for Johnny in the mountains of war torn Nicaragua. A great read, definitely recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best 15 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
Unlike one of your other reviewers I did not enjoy Star of the Sea, but I have read and enjoyed many of Joseph O'Connors books, and I rate this as one of his best alongside the Salesman. Be warned once you pick it up it is difficult to put down, I have just bought it again, because like all good books you want to lend it to your friends and then you never get it back do you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicaraguita 1 May 2009
Format:Paperback
I was particularly keen to read this book for two reasons. Firstly I immensely enjoyed O'Connor's sublime Star of The Sea and secondly because I spent an incredible three or four months in Nicaragua in 1998 and became, like many visitors to that troubled country, very attached to the place. O'Connor obviously did his research. He captures the atmosphere of Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, with its triumphs and frustrations in equal abundance, extremely well. You cannot help but share the annoyance of those trying to govern the country at the perceived constant uninvited interference from their huge Northern Neighbour and at the same time you share the protagonists' struggles to navigate the country's labyrinthine bureaucracy and widespread corruption. The early part of the novel is excellent. The focus shifts seamlessly between Nicaragua of the present and Dublin of Frank and Eleanor Little's youth. 1950's Dublin is beautifully evoked and O'Connor skilfully introduces the reader to his character's back stories in a deeply moving way. As the story unfolds further characters are introduced until finally Frank and Eleanor's son Johnny, the reason for their presence in Nicaragua, is introduced. It is at the point that the novel begins to struggle. Johnny's character is thinly drawn in comparison to his parents and it is hard to empathise or connect with him on any level. Other characters, the flaky professional Rebel without a cause Smokes in particular, also suffer in comparison with Frank and Eleanor. His disappearance, late in the novel, is particularly difficult to believe. These criticisms aside however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. O'Connor's instinctive understanding of human behaviour and his fondness for Nicaragua are evident throughout and so, perhaps most importantly, is his ability to tell a story which keeps his reader firmly engaged until the end.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book that I've read in a long time . 31 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I laughed out loud and I cried to myself! I'm not very good at writing reviews but my advice is "read it" and I promise you won't be disappointed. It is perhaps the funniest and at the same time the most poignant novel that I,ve come across in a long time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars nothing to write home about 22 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
Its the first time I'd read a Joseph O'Connor book and to be quite honest I'd never heard of him before so I read it without expectation or prejudice. To be fair its easy to read and once started I wanted to finish it but I wouldn't go as far as to say that its unputdownable.
I certainly cant understand all of the superlatives that come plastered all over the cover of the edition pictured on this page. One that stands out which was along the lines of "this book is not recommended its prescribed" is in my opinion way over the top.
The storyline is unlikely and for me unconvincing but does enough to maintain the readers interest.
I was given a loan of this book and I think its probably the best course of action because if I'd bought it I'd have been disappopinted.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First class story teller 4 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
I personally made the mistake of reading the author's finest book yet 'the Star of the Sea' and then 'Desperados' - expecting the same consuming calibre of writing. It left me disappointed but I can still give Mr O'Connor credit for a great & involving read; feeling I should not have embarked on this book with such a blinkered mindset.
The relationships and journey of Desperados evokes plenty of heartache & lip biting tension. Each character is wonderfully crafted - it is clear Mr O'Connor is a first class storyteller!
I say, give this book a go - you'll love it!
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