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The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman Paperback – 26 Apr 1979

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (26 April 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140049002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140049008
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 501,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Blue strips of sky between bleak clouds this chill day before Christmas as winter entrenched across the remote midlands of Ireland. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
His future is disastrous, his present indecent, his past divine. He is Darcy Dancer, scion of the gentry, youthful squire of Andromeda Park and rider of horses and housekeepers to hounds and to bed. His adventures as a vagabond across country and in bohemian Dublin in search of the lost glories of his youth are ferociously comic, hilariously sad.

And what else did you expect from the great Donleavy? This is one of his finest novels, brim-full of zest and life.

LISTENER: "Truly and uniquely life-affirming...an almost magically potent blend of the vulgar and the elegant, the grotesque and the lyrical, the archaic and the lewdly up-to-date.
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By Z. Herbert VINE VOICE on 15 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
For my money, this novel is the best that JP Donleavy has written. The plot is beautifully paced, simultaneously simple and complex, and leads one by the hand through the adventures and mishaps of the main character, Darcy Dancer.

The characters, main players, supporting cast or walk-on extras, are drawn as sharply and concisely as language permits and are totally believable. The backgrounds of rural Ireland and Dublin are very keenly observed by an eye at once that of a native and of a visitor. Mr Donleavy does not spare the Irish in his acute assessment of their ways ('...this country where treachery and deceit were invented...') but there is no malice in his writing. His use of language is exquisite and never sounds forced or over-worked. The narrative has as much detail as is needed and not a word more, but it is never thin or sparse.

The dialogue has to be read (preferably aloud) to be believed. Having lived in the West of Ireland, the speech rhythm, the syntax and word order he uses are spot-on. There is an infectious charm about the whole book and an optimism that is lacking in some of his others. Yes, there is melancholy and some sharp pain but they balance the overall frivolity to perfection.

If you read only one of Mr Donleavyy's books, make it this one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once you get used to his style of writing, this book is amusing and definately not predictable. Havent finished it yet, so no idea what happens at the end!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful fun
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x92a52648) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9291b318) out of 5 stars Hilarious and sublime 12 Mar. 2000
By Wordsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
JP Donleavy may well be the most hilarious writer on the planet. Darcy Dancer is a Bildungsroman about the coming of age of a young, educated member of the landed gentry in Ireland. He learns about love first- and second-hand through the auspices of a broad range of tutors including the brilliant Mr. Arland, a stablehand named Foxy, the sublime Miss Von B, the artist Clarissa, school chums, butlers and Rashers Ronald. Kildare wanders from one total fiasco of his own making to the next from the hunt and the stables to the mansions of the gentry and private schools and Dublin high society. He always emerges through chance and pluck and the kindness of others none the worse for wear and perhaps slightly wiser. What are we to make of this dubious young "gentleman"? As Kildare correctly surmises: "Every madman thinks everyone else is mad." Donleavy writes with a unique pointillism, using words as brush strokes, that is engaging, endearing and even breathtaking as each chapter ends on a brief poetic note, a pithy line of stacked type. The dialogue is outrageously real and human and uproarious. The character development is precise and each character lives and breathes with a separate unique identity that only a supremely talented writer can render so credibly. Having read nearly all his novels, Darcy Dancer is his best: it's truly a well-written, literary comedy. Discover JP Donleavy -- possibly one of the most under-rated and gifted writers of our era. You'll laugh your head off.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94eef324) out of 5 stars Stylistic romp 21 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
You know - I've always found it odd that the few, the proud, the wierd, who share my literary tastes have never even heard of J.P. Donleavy. While the Ginger Man will always be hard to beat, Destinies isn't far behind. It takes about ten seconds to become hopelessly addicted to Donleavy's style and about five seconds to fall in love with Darcy Dancer and his adventures. Just a wonderful, wonderful novel from one of the most under-appreciated writers of our time.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93224828) out of 5 stars The Destinies of Darcy Dancer Gentleman 28 April 2002
By Ron Wild - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was the second Donleavy novel I read back in 1980. Since then I have read all of his novels and biographies. This book is also the reason that i stayed at the Shelbourne Hotel.
Full of gratuitous sex, violence drunken ribaldry, indeed it is almost a training manual for students.
It opens the door to positive thinking and instils in one that when things are really bad, they are not as bad as they are going to get, but never give up.
Learn negotiating skills, if a fist in the gob doesn't work, buy your man a drink.
Sex education, from aristocrats, whores, artists, teachers, plebean masses.
In all an excellent life changing book in which Donleavy displays true comic genius and has caused me hours of laughter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9291b6b4) out of 5 stars Sex, adventure, love, drunkeness, and old-fashion fun. 25 Nov. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of Donleavy's best. It contains everything you could ask for in a book. A tragic love story, meaningless sex, drunken riots, and plain Irish fun. Darcy Dancer is tragic and hilariously funny at the same time. You never know if you will be laughing or crying at the turn of each page.
Read it.
HASH(0x9291b774) out of 5 stars Education of a young Irish boy--mostly sexual. 19 Dec. 2014
By Geraldine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one sexy and amusing book. Your Kindle will heat up dangerously!
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