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Inishowen Paperback – 3 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009928653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099286530
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A powerful, moving adventure of raw fate and betrayed love" (Independent on Sunday)

"This is a tremendous book, affecting, intelligent, ironic, humane and utterly convincing. It is also extremely funny" (Spectator)

"Inishowen is a vast page-turner, full of compassion, laughter and zest for the human condition, as well as a rattling good story" (Irish Times)

"O'Connor is an enviably talented writer... A very fine novelist" (Glasgow Herald)

"Ireland's most versatile writer... His storytelling is masterful, and his characters are real and vibrant... A sombre, often heartbreaking story... O'Connor conducts his bittersweet symphony with humour, sensitivity and immense style" (Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

Inishowen is by turns wildly funny and deeply moving, from the author of Star of the Sea.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Walls on 9 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me, it all started when I read Finbar's Hotel and got hooked on Irish writing. Of the 7 authors of that book, Joe O'Connor was the real find. I've read almost everything he's done and Inishowen is the best yet. It's not a bundle of laughs, but it made me smile in places. Equally, it's not gloomy, but it moved me from time to time. O'Connor's style is getting more fine-tuned; he has a knack of giving the reader just enough information to make sense of the story at a particular point, without the distraction of superfluous facts and observations. It's a longish book, but I read it over a couple of days. Towards the end, it becomes very un-put-downable. If Joe O'Connor doesn't pick up some major literary prize soon, there's no justice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
Joseph O'Connor, hilarious if flippant in his early essay collections, has matured into a serious literary novelist as both The Salesman and now Inishowen bare out. Inishowen weaves the stories of three flawed souls, each of whom is striving to regain sound footing in this midst of turmoil. The characters are sympathetic and likeable, even when they are behaving abominably. O'Connor's character development is remarkable, in that it is almost "real time" - that is, you watch the characters develop as they go through experiences of death, loss, betrayal, love and reunion with family. Character development here IS the plot and a wonderful plot it is. The lives of Ellen, Aitken, and Milton intertwine so that they are still individual strands of story, but together they make an strong rope of a novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jimbly on 3 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
O'Connor's 'Star of the Sea' is one of my favourite books of all time. If you haven't read it yet, I urge you to buy it and devour it as I did. But if you want an introduction to O'Connor, don't read this.

Because of my admiration for his previous works, I came to Inishowen with high hopes. Was I ever disappointed. It starts promisingly enough but then nosedives into contrivance, cliche and plot holes.

On a positive note, it is intriguing, and the Dublin dialogue is pretty much the best evocation of the vernacular I've ever read.

Sadly this is undermined by a bunch of American stereotypes that seem to be straight out of RTE central casting. They spoke like Irish or British: fortnight, a car bonnet, handbag instead of purse, purse instead of clutch, trouser press, A&E instead of ER, etc. The family at Christmas in New York pulled Christmas crackers and nobody - even the daughter's boyfriend who was not from the family - remarking on it.

These mistakes really pulled me out of the narrative and made me think that those characters had no reason to be American - they were originally British or Irish - but O'Connor amended it to New York at the last minute for some reason (to try to appeal to the American market?).

However the most egregious thing in the book is the contrivance of a private jet with an illegal landing in Donegal. The plot devolves from a relatively believable mystery farce into absurdity. The characters arrive without passports and are put in jail then bailed out, though if they were illegally in the country, they would not have been let out. The person who bails them out discovers them by accident, which was a deus ex machina from which there was no escape.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
I couldn't stop reading it! This is a wonderful insight in people's minds . We follow the characters all the way from Dublin to Inishowen, and at the same time from one point in America to another,wondering what their relationships are.We follow a whole range of characters we meet everyday and do not care about:the punk boy-friend,the lonely policeman.... and they get so real,we want to know so much what they are going to do of usual situations:the sex affair, the old and tired marriage...
This is above all the story of a free woman, who has decided it is now her time to choose. Good reading, you will not regret it!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Professor on 1 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
There is no doubt that this book, like all Joseph O'Connor books, is a cracking good read, at times so beautifully written that you actually find yourself reading a paragraph a second time just to savour it. I loved this book, but I can't help feeling let down by the last quarter. It was as if the author suddenly realised that he had a deadline to meet and wrote the end of the book over a weekend. Maybe I am being too critical and I just didn't want it to end!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
although quite long, this book is quite readable and never fails to engage. the problem, however, is that the author seems uncertain as to whether he wants to write a simple, uncomplicated narrative or show himself to be more of a stylist. some of his little references (eg. to bands that amery and ellen saw during their student days) seem to be there to tell us about the author rather than the characters. I liked his reference to Brian Friels "Faith Healer", however. Enjoyable certainly, but at no time does this book challenge the reader.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first book by O'Connor that I have read. His works are not readily available in the US. His American characters are very well drawn. They aren't treated as condescendingly as some Irish writers seem to like to treat their American cousins. I liked his detective character and would like to seem him in another book.
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