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The Speckled People by [Hamilton, Hugo]
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The Speckled People Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 314 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Amazon Review

Why is it that Irish childhoods are somehow more interesting than any other? The Speckled People is yet another tale of rough and tumble childhood in Ireland in the 1950s. Instead of the hard-drinking, lovable father and weak abandoned mother of Frank McCourt's boyhood we're given the odd mix of an Irish nationalist father married to a German immigrant with a Nazi past. The premise seems to be rich and wide, but the whole book turns out to be rather intimate and personal. This is less a comment on Ireland and Germany after the war and more Hugo Hamilton's youthful journey of self discovery.

Hamilton writes in a style that can best be called "Irish immediate". Everything happens in the first person with a sudden awareness and blunt description. This style is charming at first, but wearing with time. Nevertheless, the narrator's exploration of his secret past, his comic boyhood adventures and conflicts captivate the reader, and one is carried away by the story. The interplay between the fierce Irish nationalism and the German identity of the narrator's mother is interesting, but they are only the outward sign of an inward discovery as the narrator strives to understand himself. As in any cross-cultural clash, the conflict ends in a fresh synthesis. So Hugo discovers his own identity and realises that he does not have to be either German or Irish, but a unique blend of both. --Dwight Longenecker


'A wonderful book … thoughtful and compelling, smart and original, beautifully written … Hamilton has done an awful lot more with his strange and oddly beautiful childhood than just write it down.'
Nick Hornby, Sunday Times

'This story about a battle over language and defeat 'in the language wars' is also a victory for eloquent writing, crafty and cunning in its apparent simplicity.'
Hermione Lee, Guardian

'Early as it is to risk a judgment, it is hard to believe that this year will produce many books as memorable or moving as this.'
Roy Foster, The Times

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 642 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (11 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BS06SN4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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on 30 April 2017
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on 26 November 2004
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on 14 December 2004
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on 24 December 2007
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on 21 August 2008
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