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Donnybrook Hardcover – 7 Mar 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Heinemann; First Edition edition (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0434021539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0434021536
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 949,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A dark and brutal debut. Donnybrook is a bellow of rage from the American heartland, and Bill is the new bard of the disaffected rural underclass." (Roger Smith, author of Wake Up Dead)

"Raw desperation and powerful prose pack a knockout punch in Donnybrook. Frank Bill’s novel is a winner." (Hilary Davidson, author of The Damage Done)

"The prose is vivid and visceral, especially the fight scenes. Bill manages to accurately portray intricate movements and action without losing pace. These set pieces are often imaginative, original and horrific... There’s a definite cinematic quality to the whole narrative." (Bookmunch)

"A breathless, enthralling read" (Shortlist)

"Donnybrook is as subtle as a 12-gauge shotgun blast to the face…[A] coruscating new voice writing in the American rural noir tradition of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock." (Doug Johnstone Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

The raw and as-insane-as-anticipated first novel from Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
THIS REVIEW ORIGINALLY RAN AT THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

If your best chance of securing a future is to fight in a "Donnybrook," a three day fighting match where ponying up $1,000 gets you in, and your chances of getting out in one piece are slim, then maybe you need to reconsider the path you have chosen. Frank Bill's gritty, violent, and grim debut novel, Donnybrook (FSG Originals) is not for the faint of heart, as the body count is high, and the actions desperate and brutal. But buried in the bruised flesh are the stories of Jarhead, a desperate fighter, Angus, a drug dealer, and Fu, a martial arts enforcer--men with a strange sense of honor that lurks beneath their questionable actions, doing what they have to do in order to survive, to protect their own, and to please their employers. Meth cookers and dealers, drunks and addicts, whores and hustlers, they all scrounge for a meager existence, one that inevitably leads them to the Donnybrook.

In order to fully appreciate the actions of our cast of characters, you have to be able to picture the settings of Southern Indiana, the way some people live down there. With an authority that reveals his many years in these rural towns, Frank Bill shows us in vivid details the places and sensations of life on the fringe:

"Logs had started to moss over. Matched the tin roof's shade, hunter green. The Blue River ran just as green on the other side of the road. That hint of fish smell wafted into Whalen's inhale. The yard was littered with beer cans and pine needles. A small brown fridge sat on the wooden deck up next to the cabin's front door."

You can almost hear the purdy, purdy, purdy of a Cardinal in the distance, a flash of its red feathers, the rapid-fire pecking of a Pileated Woodpecker like gunfire.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just finished this on a long train journey, unstintingly violent and populated with characters of remorseless sleaze. The dialogue is snappy and rich in Southern idiosyncrasy. The plot is straight up and down and the ending is poised for at least another six books, note to Frank Bill keep it down to three max! I liked his Crimes in Southern Indiana too.
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Format: Hardcover
«Donnybrook was a three-day bare-knuckles tournament, held once a year every August. Run by the sadistic and rich-as-f**k Bellmont McGill on a thousand-acre plot out in the sticks. Twenty fighters entered a fence-wire ring. Fought till one man was left standing. Hordes of onlookers-men and women who used drugs and booze, wagered and grilled food-watched the fighting. Two fights Friday. Four Saturday. The six winners fought Sunday for one hundred grand.»

At this tournament on a remote farm, sooner or later the protagonists of the debut novel by Frank Bill will gather to settle things. Someone will come as a fighter, someone as an onlooker, and someone will come here for other reasons.

The main characters of the novel are the fighters, in the sense that they are ready to defend what is theirs and fight for what had been taken away from them. Coincidentally, four of these characters are also bare-knuckles fighters that can compete for the top prize. Jarhead robbed a gun shop to get money for the fee for the tournament, and only wants to feed his family with the money won («I's hungry, Dada») and to cure an ill back of his wife. Angus and his sister Liz before the tournament won’t divide rightfully cooked drugs and will scatter in different directions, Liz in the company of another fighter named Ned, they as a team will sell meth during the tournament. Deputy Sheriff Whalen rushes for Donnybrook to get revenge. A Chinese named Fu will look at the tournament for the people who owe money to his boss.

Each character has its own motivation, everyone arrives at Donnybrook as to some place where the dreames come true, and by the start of the tournament there will be several lives taken by each main character.
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Format: Paperback
Let's get this straight from the start: this isn't a pretty book. This is a dirty, gritty, nasty piece, the characters are completely unsympathetic and you find yourself not caring about them at all. However, 'Donnybrook' is one hell of a read, flawed but good. Frank Bill is building up a mythology about Indiana in much the same way that Joe R. Lansdale is doing with East Texas in the Hap and Leonard stories. The story barrels along at a fair old clip and there's plenty of violence so if that's what you like you're in the right place. Don't get fooled into thinking this is about bare-knuckled fighting, this is more about the road to the fight and why the people are going there. Sit back, relax and let Frank Bill guide you through the murkier parts of the backwoods of Indiana. This is a promising novel, with an ending that seems purposefully set up for a sequel or sequence.
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Format: Paperback
FEELING lost, hooked on booze and drugs, hopeless? You’ll feel better after reading this nasty blast of a yarn from the man who brought us Crimes in Southern Indiana.

Here he weaves a story around the Donnybrook, a no-holds-barred all-in fighting festival where the winner takes all. We get to see the despair of lives ravaged by drink and meth, and the misplaced pride fueling the hate that seeps from the pores of characters who’ll kick in the doors of Hell to get just one even break in life.

This is a cruel and scary book in which you feel every broken bone and tooth and smell the blood spattered on the canvas – and you won’t forget it in a hurry.
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