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This Magnificent Desolation Hardcover – 18 Feb 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (18 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408833808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408833803
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,560,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A beautiful, floating novel. Thomas O'Malley writes with grace and style and bravery. There is not an ounce of cynicism here. While most of us remain earthbound, O'Malley allows us to believe that we can, at various times, go to an imaginative elsewhere. Even the desolation can have its own magnificence. O'Malley is a great talent, reminiscent of another fine Irish writer, Sebastian Barry (Colum McCann)

Beautifully structured... powerful ... This Magnificent Desolation is moving and deeply affecting fiction which calls for engaged, even obsessive reading. It is a work of great artistic merit (Irish Observer)

America, as the New World, has perhaps always been where the lost seek redemption and the desolate closely harbour their dreams, and this is marvellously evoked ... A sensitive depiction of haunted and scarred characters and O'Malley's lyrical but spare prose invokes the numinous in the characters' commonplace struggles as they strive to reconcile a blasted past and a frequently ashen present (***** Lady)

Book Description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE KERRY GROUP IRISH NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD. A heart-breaking, staggering, soaring novel about war, music, loneliness and the redemptive power of the imagination

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What a story this is, layered with some great descriptive writing characters and words in the right places. The Steinbeck or Cormac McCarthy reader will love this authors crafted ability to write presented in this novel, written with the same darkness and light, struggle and triumph and matters supernatural than the mentioned authors have written with. A real treat of a read for this year and one to recommend and add to my best of 2013 list of reads.
Read an excerpt or a first chapter kindle sample and you will clearly see a great story with some great writing.
The book art and great title lived up to judging a book by its cover and done a great service in me wanting to read this.

The narrative of a young boy and hooks you into the world around him visible and unseen that he talks of, others do too, it hypnotically immerses you in this tale. His struggle and hope, and his love for his mother and wanting of his lost father makes great storytelling and could touch a cord in the readers heart. His light and dark world may have you fully intertwined as if you are there with him in his shoes.

Another memorable and likeable character is Joshua a veteran and a hard laborer, a worker in the building of tunnels, he too talks with a keener eye on things unseen but known of and meaningful to himself.

The boys mother was once an opera singer but as tragedy hit, the tables had turned and she lived in memories and darkness but her return of her long lost son could prove to be her saving grace her resolution and could help her recapture and revive her gift.

A wonderful redemptive story of Love, family, gifted and talented characters and the worlds bigger picture.
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Format: Hardcover
Just finished second book by this author , have to say content was "deep" but so cleverly written ,I couldn't put it down , was such a moving tale
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9374c534) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91c49aec) out of 5 stars Magnificent!!! 21 April 2013
By Bookbag - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a former high school English teacher and adjunct professor of literature, I don't award five stars easily. This is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. I agree with Mr Pendergrast's review and the Amazon blurb.
Although this is a wonderful read for those just interested in plot, this novel
deserves to be read several times to truly appreciate the artistry of the writing. The sensory images alone are magical.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x917998c4) out of 5 stars Good writing 25 Mar. 2013
By Lou pendergrast - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Review

What a story this is, layered with some great descriptive writing characters and words in the right places. The Steinbeck or Cormac McCarthy reader will love this authors crafted ability to write presented in this novel, written with the same darkness and light, struggle and triumph and matters supernatural than the mentioned authors have written with. A real treat of a read for this year and one to recommend and add to my best of 2013 list of reads.
Read an excerpt or a first chapter kindle sample and you will clearly see a great story with some great writing.
The book art and great title lived up to judging a book by its cover and done a great service in me wanting to read this.

The narrative of a young boy and hooks you into the world around him visible and unseen that he talks of, others do too, it hypnotically immerses you in this tale. His struggle and hope, and his love for his mother and wanting of his lost father makes great storytelling and could touch a cord in the readers heart. His light and dark world may have you fully intertwined as if you are there with him in his shoes.

Another memorable and likeable character is Joshua a veteran and a hard laborer, a worker in the building of tunnels, he too talks with a keener eye on things unseen but known of and meaningful to himself.

The boys mother was once an opera singer but as tragedy hit, the tables had turned and she lived in memories and darkness but her return of her long lost son could prove to be her saving grace her resolution and could help her recapture and revive her gift.

A wonderful redemptive story of Love, family, gifted and talented characters and the worlds bigger picture.

"At dusk the sky above the farms and pastureland of Stockholdt,
Minnesota, roils as if it were a living thing, twisting and writhing toward the northeastern horizon, where, briefly visible are small towns, windows glinting nacre in the tallow light, and black-ash-yellow-birch-and evergreen-lined slopes upon which rust-colored buildings, tin mining shacks, logging camps, and pyramids of dead timber bloom. Above the glacial Iron Range, the sky is a sheet of flat gray steel and the mountains merely an outline stamped upon this background: a picture taking shape, trembling momentarily, and then becoming fixed in its bath of silver halide. Animals, sensing the storm, are still. Not a thing moves. And then at the farthest edges of the sky, a slight undulation begins like a wave far out at sea, and with it comes a slow, rushing blackness as of night. A great wind rises up from the north, and from the deep, leaded bellies of clouds, it begins to snow."

"There is a moment of cessation, when the storm momentarily abates and the sky clears, and the stars begin to fall from the heavens.
Brother Canice says that on the night Duncan's mother arrived with him bundled in her arms, he witnessed from the chapels tower a meteor shower flaring bright over the Iron Range, and so distinct and singular was its effect that he swears that he heard each meteor's tail hissing-startling chromatic colours momentarily so brilliant that,
when he closed his eyes, he saw them still."

"Duncan thinks of Padre Martin de Lupe often. He is a ravager of children, the Black Angel who lurks in the wine cellar and in the catacombs and labyrinths, in the empty casket hold and charnel house, and who, to this day, haunts the children's graveyard, cradling the worsted, fleshy knot of his broken neck and his head, cantered at a broken angle against his right shoulder, from the back of which hangs a great wing that drags a yard upon the ground, and when he speaks, his voice is a hiss, a gasp, and, quite possibly, the last thing you will ever hear."
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91db9510) out of 5 stars very true to the title! 27 April 2013
By susan Wescott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautifully written book with a sense of ethereal mysticism that is true to the title throughout . The author excellently describes the desolation of the landscapes and lives in which the characters reside . As a reader, you instinctively realize what the ending will be but are given another view through the eyes of a little boy who only knows desolation and does not even realize that it could be different .
HASH(0x9190418c) out of 5 stars Magnificent Indeed! 23 Sept. 2014
By Read-A-Book - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a dark, powerful read. So much unrest and sadness.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91724a94) out of 5 stars Desolate? Yes. Magnificent? Not so fast. 8 Sept. 2014
By Il'ja Rákoš - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story of either a boy in search of family or a family in search of itself: you decide. A quiet work, yet the near-whisper tone holds your attention for long stretches. I am struck, however, by the sense that this is one novel which may have been better served had it been published as two. The opening at the orphanage and the life of the mendicants and their charges created a rich atmosphere awash in shadow that resonated strongly with me. Certainly some fine, lyrical passages in the early going, but then the protagonist's mother shows up and what was some crisp, spare storytelling turns predictable, awkward, and occasionally mawkish. The ending felt forced, bored with itself, and I began to wonder whether the start and the finish did not come from two different writers.

In brief, a strong start, watery middle, and flat finish, but enough good things along the way to convince me that better work is bound to come from Thomas O'Malley.
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