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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Memories
Heard this book reviewed on the radio one morning and liked the sound of it. Wasn't disappointed. It was a lovely, sensitive, well written tale of a lonely bachelor so common to Ireland. Would recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy but heart rending read.
Published on 13 Feb 2009 by Anne Pauline McManus

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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Misremembered Man
Jamie McCloone is 41 and single. He lives alone on a farm which is filthy and not at all well kept. In many ways he is the stereotype of an Irish country bachelor, scared of women and married to the drink. Lydia Devine is also 41 and single, living at home with her domineering mother but at least free from the restrictions placed on her by her dominating Presbyterian...
Published on 17 July 2012 by Moonlit


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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Misremembered Man, 17 July 2012
By 
Moonlit (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Paperback)
Jamie McCloone is 41 and single. He lives alone on a farm which is filthy and not at all well kept. In many ways he is the stereotype of an Irish country bachelor, scared of women and married to the drink. Lydia Devine is also 41 and single, living at home with her domineering mother but at least free from the restrictions placed on her by her dominating Presbyterian father, now dead. How these two come together is the subject matter of this novel.

I thought it was a strange book, undecided whether to be misery memoir, romance or comedy. Some parts were very funny but I felt a little uncomfortable at times, as if I was laughing at someone rather than with them. The narrative is interspersed with scenes from Jamie's past which help to explain the way he is.

Jamie and Lydia are likeable characters which helps to elevate the novel slightly and the ending is different to what we are led to expect from the outset so some points for that.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sincere and well-meant, but not much to like, 7 Feb 2014
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To be fair, this isn't the sort of book I'd usually read, but it was a free download and I'm happy to try anything. I'd actually forgotten all about it until an email asked me if I wanted to write a review.
Well, not really - but just out of curiosity I thought I'd find out what the general opinion of it was. To my astonishment I saw that it's had over five hundred four and five star reviews, and proper ones, too, not suspicious 'This is really good and you should go out and buy it' two-liners.
Which prompted me to stand in solidarity alongside the dozen or so fellow readers who only gave it one star, too. The author is obviously sincere and well-meaning, but apart from that, I could find nothing to like about this tale of how two middle-aged outsiders, an odd farmer and a lonely schoolteacher, get together (though not in the way you might think) in rural Ireland.
It's a slow, clunky read, with an outdated and patronising tone. There are pages and pages of dull detail and corny Oirish dialogue - like the 20 Kindle pages devoted to farmer Jamie and his neighbour Rose working out a reply to a lonely hearts "advertmint" in the local paper ("Just the thing, so it is, God, but you're powerful good at the writin' ...") I found it borderline offensive - people don't talk like this in modern Ireland, do they? Is it meant to be funny?
These scenes alternate in a very discordant and heavy-handed way with the grim flashbacks to a cruel orphanage upbringing, more suited to the sort of misery-lit biographies that always seem to be on sale in my local Asda. (Though I don't suppose it's the author's fault that scenes like this, set in Magdalen laundries and orphanages, have been done to death in print and on screen in recent years).
All the characters are caricatures, the story takes it in turns to be ridiculously grim or unbelievably twee, and there's a a "tear-stained, heart-stopping" finale that ties up all the loose ends so shamelssly, it would make even Maeve Binchy blush. Though Ms Binchy (for all her faults, and I happen to love her books) is Shakespeare and Tolstoy rolled into one in comparison with this author.
I'm sorry to be so out of step, but there's just no accounting for taste.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Memories, 13 Feb 2009
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
Heard this book reviewed on the radio one morning and liked the sound of it. Wasn't disappointed. It was a lovely, sensitive, well written tale of a lonely bachelor so common to Ireland. Would recommend this book to anyone who wants an easy but heart rending read.
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories!, 14 July 2008
By 
M. S. Layton (Luton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
A joy to read - despite the unhappy time the main character had as a child. This booked for me evoked many happy memories of "old" Ireland,people in the community perhaps knowing too much about each other but at the same time caring very much for each other.The language,the expectations and the description of the various characters I am sure could be recognised in any village.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarmingly funny and heartbreakingly sad, 20 Jan 2013
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
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This is a beautifully understated book about two lonely souls who are searching for, if not necessarily love, then certainly companionship.

Jamie McCloone is a bachelor farmer in his early 40s, living alone in rural Ireland since the death of his beloved Uncle Mick and Aunt Alice. It's fair to say he's set in his ways - the farmhouse is a tip and his personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired. With a little encouragement from his best friends, Rose and Paddy McFadden, Jamie decides to look for love via the lonely hearts column in his local newspaper. The lucky lady whose ad Jamie responds to is 41 year old spinster Lydia Devine, tired of being at the beck and call of her domineering mother and anxious to find a `plus one' to take to the wedding of an old schoolfriend.

The compassionate portrayal of Jamie and Lydia's search for a soulmate is heartwarmingly funny and achingly poignant. The cast of weird and wonderful supporting characters is just as vivid and endearing as the two leads, and the repartee between them is hilarious at times. It's not all laughs though, there are flashbacks to the brutal children's homes of the 1930s where one young boy is living a hellish existence at the hands of the Catholic authorities.

Christina McKenna has a wonderful ear for dialogue and a talent for observing awkward social situations and unspoken intimacies between friends (the scene near the end with Jamie and Paddy in the barn was just heartbreaking). I finished the book with a tear in my eye but also a bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling too. I absolutely loved this tender and humorous story about two lonely people, which was perfectly balanced with darker moments of pathos and sadness. I'm sure it's going to make my top 5 books of the year.
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105 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 15 Nov 2008
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C. Slon (County Down, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
Can't but agree with the other reviewers. It's rare to come across a book
with a great story and great writing. Jamie McCloone is a lonely farmer
living in Northern Ireland. When the novel opens he is suffering from
depression and is suicidal, but his friendly neighbour, Rose, comes to the
rescue. She encourages him to answer a Lonely Hearts ad. Jamie does just
that and his life is changed for the better and forever.

It is a very funny and moving story which made me laugh and cry at the same time. I understand that it is going to be made into a movie. I only hope that the film makers can do justice to such a wonderful book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 3 July 2012
So enjoyed this book.McKenna handles a very difficult subject superbly.Beautifully written, you can hear the Irish brogue, and she makes you laugh and cry in equal measure. It was with reluctance I put it down, joy when I picked it up again and dismay when I finished it.You can't believe the atrocities carried out and even more so when it was administered by people of the cloth. I shall recommend for our book club and wait in anticipation for her to write another superb book. Despite a harrowing tale I loved it.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Read, 31 Aug 2008
By 
Mr. Robert Keogh (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
The Misremembered Man is a fascinating story of life in rural Ireland in the 1970`s although the characters could be found in any community. The author, Christina Mc Kenna, has skillfully and beautifully woven humour, pathos and anger in her story. Her character descriptions, especially Jamie and Lydia, are so real and very convincing. Jamie`s awkwardness and sad background is a poignant reminder of the cruelty imposed on children by those entrusted to care for them. This contrasts with Lydia`s refinement, attention to detail and privileged upbringing. The Misremembered Man evokes from the reader a roller coaster of emotions. The story is so colourfully written it is impossible to put the book down once started. A must read book with a surprise twist in the tail.[or tale]
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read!!!, 20 Oct 2008
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
This is the type of book you start reading and can not put down. I read it in two sittings.
It was a joy to read from start to finish. One minute I was crying with laughter - the next crying at the cruelty shown to the main character.
There was so much about Jamie that reminded me of men I know - especially in regard to the socks and lack of personal hygiene.
We read it with my book club and for once all of us enjoyed the book of the month!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable read, 20 Nov 2008
By 
E. Hunter (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Misremembered Man (Hardcover)
The Misremembered Man is a heartfelt piece of writing to move you to tears of laughter and sadness.A beautifully crafted work. The well drawn characters will stay with you for a long time.It is evocative of times past - both good and bad. I strongly recommend this book and keep it for yourself. Not one to loan out!
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The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna (Paperback - 7 Jun 2011)
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