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The Holy City
 
 

The Holy City [Kindle Edition]

Patrick McCabe
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Paperback £7.62  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged £16.99  
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Product Description

Review

'McCabe has made unreliable narrators his stock-in-trade, and they do not come much more unreliable than sexagenarian boulevardier Chris J. McCool Throw in a dashing Nigerian and small-town Ireland at its most incestuous and bigoted, and you have a typical McCabe cocktail: black comedy delivered with tongue-in-cheek effervescence' Mail on Sunday 'Few people can make an unreliable narrator and a vigorously scrambled time-scheme as compelling as McCabe can, and his story telling powers are in full flow in The Holy City' Guardian 'A hall of mirrors [McCool's] intensifying madness, religious and sexual confusion and mental deterioration are painful to read and cleverly drawn; real and imagined events are veiled with McCabe's engaging lyricism' The Times 'A masterly handling of the macabre sometimes that numb surface generates a brilliantly deadpan meeting of the eerie and the comic' Daily Telegraph

Review

" [A] mesmerizing but unsettling read." (Booklist)

"A brilliantly deadpan meeting of the eerie and the comic." (The Daily Telegraph)

"McCabe is incapable of not telling an interesting story...very clever." (The Los Angeles Times)

"Few people can make an unreliable narrator and a vigorously scrambled time-scheme as compelling as McCabe can, and his story telling powers are in full flow in The Holy City." (The Guardian)

"A hall of mirrors [McCool's] intensifying madness, religious and sexual confusion and mental deterioration are painful to read and cleverly drawn; real and imagined events are veiled with McCabe's engaging lyricism." (The Times)

"McCabe has made unreliable narrators his stock-in-trade, and they do not come much more unreliable than sexagenarian boulevardier Chris J. McCool. Throw in a dashing Nigerian and small-town Ireland at its most incestuous and bigoted, and you have a typical McCabe cocktail: black comedy delivered with tongue-in-cheek effervescence." (The Mail on Sunday)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 334 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408800756
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (1 Jun 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0051UH7LO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #934,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
2.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly boring read. 6 Nov 2010
By natasha
Format:Hardcover
I started reading this book a few weeks ago, and I'm still only about quarter of the way through. I have to say, it's not interested me at all so far. I was going to carry on reading to see if it gets better, but after reading the other reviews I think I'll give up. It doesn't seem to be leading anywhere, and I'm not really sure what the plotline is anyway, even from reading the back several times. I really enjoyed the other books of McCabe's that I have read (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast On Pluto, The Dead School), so The Holy City hasn't put me off, but I wouldn't recommend this book as a first read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Run To The Woods 26 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
Patrick McCabe / In Safe Hands: The two fit together like an old fashioned jigsaw. Oh but not this time.
Yes, Holy City has the regular seam of gold running right through it:
The Old Ireland and its regeneration to gleaming new towns.
Sumptuous character descriptions and knowing names.
The protagonist, an insane killer in denial.

It's all there but it isn't. The story jumps from old to new so often that you literally 'lose the plot' and regrettably begin to 'not care'.
In McCabe's greats (The Butcher Boy, The Dead School), however dreadful the deeds and however great their downfall, the reader is irrevocably drawn into the characters lives in the blackest of comedies and at the finality of their story, feels wonderfully contented.

However, in The Holy City (even after to much searching) I could find in myself, no sympathy or interest. I read to the end as fast as possible, just to finish the book.

If you need a fix of new Patrick McCabe, buy last year's superlative, Winterwood - that plunges to fantastic new depths of evil, handled so well, you wont even shrug a guilty shiver.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still reading 29 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like the work of the work of the author and the book is both an interesting read and value for money.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Holy uninteresting 25 April 2012
Format:MP3 CD
I too discovered Patrick McCabe's brilliantly original and subtly witty prose through the excellent The Dead School, and the equally absorbing The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto, however this novel left me totally cold, for the same reasons that Born Pretty cited. The problem is that the story lacks a coherent narrative; this may seem an odd thing to say as this is what McCabe specialises in, however with his previous novels this has been compensated by through the creation of fascinating characters and the way they fail to fit into their societies; sadly, for me, The Holy City does not have this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE AND BEWILDERING 31 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book strange and difficult to follow. I read to the end as I hoped things would be come clearer, but unfortunately they did not. I did not enjoy this book, and however hard I tried nothing in it seemed to become any clearer. I could see certain strands in the story, but they never seemed to add up to anything. Chris-the main protagonist in the story is obviously suffering from some psychological problems,. but to me it never became clear. I believe, though only from the endpages and the other reviewer that Patrick ,McCabe has written more convincing novels, but it will take time before I venture on that journey. There are many books that demand my attention, and I am sure will find more enjoyable, before I venture into the Patrick McCabe country again. This is a book that I would not want to read again, as I am sure that the plot would become no clearer.
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