An Evening of Long Goodbyes
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Slurp snort chortle pwaaaah! This is just so much fun! And sad! And zippy to read! But rich and complex at the same time! And I think I’ve used enough exclamation marks now!
Emphatically enjoyable. Admittedly, if I were to meet the hapless and hopeless narrator Charles Hythloday (how would you pronounce that?) then I would want to shake him. Hard. (The reaction of a mother.) He is outlandishly snobbish, self-centred, lazy, spends his time drinking...more
After the brilliance of Skippy Dies, I was expecting so much more - or at least, given this was Murray's first novel, some parallels. Some of the complexity; the careful and clever layering o...more
Bog Irish Lad Lit takes a turn for the better.
But Wait There’s More!
Yeats meets “Ulysses” meets “The Cherry Orchard”.
Paul Murray quotes Yeats liberally throughout.
I don’t know Yeats well enough to comment on the significance of his poetry to the themes of this novel.
That would require research rather than "sprezzatura". (1)
There is a subtle affinity with James Joyce’s “Ulysses”.
Just watch me make my case.
There are 18 Episodes in “Ulysses”...more
What's fascinating is that about 1/2 way through it, the book starts to deconstruct itself. It starts out hilarious, fun, brilliant, with an incredible love of language. . . and then, what do you know? It becomes realistic.
It was one of the three-four books that made me realize that if I read fiction, I prefer un...more
The story st...more
Irish writer Murray makes a brilliant debut with Long Goodbyes, which was a finalist for the prestigious Whitbread First Novel Award after its publication in the U.K. in 2003. Often compared to P.G. Wodehouse, Noel Coward, John Kennedy Toole, and Flann O'Brien (an Irish satirist), with a touch of Chekhov thrown in, Murray has penned a solipsistic soliloquy that deftly mixes farce and melodrama with social commentary. Most critics had few complaints, though a few noted some blips in the plotting....more
The thing is...I read it after I read his second novel, "Skippy Dies," which is just about one of the best novels I've ever read (made me both laugh and cry harder). So I think reading "An Evening of Long Goodbyes" made me both more charitable toward Murray but also a little disappointed that his first novel isn't as good as his second. No real surprise there, though.
There's promise here, there really is, but the rest of it was so hard to enjoy that had to give...more
If you cannot bring yourself to let loose on Pual Murray's Skippy Dies and despite my adoring the novel I can understand why a book about adolescent boys might not being alluring, then read Murray's matchless novel An Evening of Long Good-byes instead. It is wonderful. You'll laugh, you'll cry--- from laughing more--- and you'll wish it doesn't end. Charles Hythloday's sad realization that he must work when all he wants is to be a retired country gentlemen is a comic joy. Really. This is being t...more
An Evening of Long Goodbyes is the story of Charles Hythloday who wants to perfect the art is sperzatura, the old art of doing nothing in style. The family home, a crumbling house set on a cliff outside of Dublin seems to be the perfect background...more
"An Evening of Long Goodbyes: A Novel" is supremely well-written, I'll give it that much. Paul Murray has crafted a supremely well-written but mammothly over-long script for a sit-com pilot starring that snobby guy...more
Didn't know how to rate this - loved the writing, found bits absolutely hilarious, but got irritated finally by the clueless hero and gave up halfway. I have personal issues with heroes who are that out of it - the reason why I was irritated with A Confederacy of Dunces as well.
But I would still look at anything Paul Murray offers us. Loved Skippy Dies.
Another short broken arm review.
I mostly enjoyed An Evening, though. It's cute and clever. My real criticism lies with the melancholy ending, which I don't think the novel earns.
I'm still a Paul Murray fan, though.
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'Oh but so Scottish, Bel! Come on, the bagpipes? The interminable quotations from Braveheart? Anyone who's proud of coming from Scotland obviously has issues-”