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3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  112 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
After a brilliant youth, the painter Roderic Kennedy's life has been overtaken by a series of crises - alcoholism, the failure of his marriage and an estrangement from this three daughters. When he meets Julia Fitzpatrick, it seems as if this period of turbulence and misfortune is at an end.
Published August 1st 2003 by Faber & Faber (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 30, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing
All too often, when novelists write about the artistic process, they treat it as if it is a Serious, Weighty Matter. (I’m thinking of novels like The Blazing World, for one.) As a result, we, as readers, never get the sense of well-rounded characters.

For the most part, Deirdre Madden gets it right. In Authenticity, we meet three artists: Roderic Kennedy, whose single-minded passion for his art has turned him into a success but who leaves behind a broken marriage and severe bouts with alcoholism
Roger Brunyate
May 31, 2016 Roger Brunyate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland, art
Yes, yes, yes… oh YES!

Excuse the Joycean exuberance of my title, though not inappropriate for an Irish novel of such quality, but how else can you respond when you read a book that just gets everything so darned right? You shout it from the rooftops, buy copies for all your friends, sit down and read the thing all over again. This is a novel about art, and about love, about what happens when love fails you or you fail art, and the miracle when both succeed. It is both absolutely normal and const
Nov 27, 2010 summer61 rated it really liked it
Great insights into the costs of following one's creative muse and also the costs of not following. Also down-to-earth observations about art-making in general. Well-paced and well-constructed; a psychological page-turner, with interesting jumps back and forth in time. With its focus on art-making, I was fascinated by this book; however, I was mildly disappointed in the ending; it had dramatic effect, but at the cost of relying on broader clichés about artists. This included the Vincent-Theo-lik ...more
Apr 16, 2007 heidipj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It's set in Dublin and focuses on the lives of a small cast of characters who are all linked to each other through art and love. The writing is subtle and nothing terribly dramatic happens but it's the characters that draw you in... They're still hanging somewhere in the back of my sub-conscious.

It's probably not everyone's cup of tea as it does move quite slowly and, as some of the characters are artists, it does go on a bit about the nature of art (which I loved).
May 19, 2011 Indu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: add-to-libr
I really enjoyed the book. It was very interestingly written and explored the creative life and calling through various minds. That thread, as was written in the blurb, was what made me want to read the book initially and I am happy I did.
Dec 27, 2013 JodiP rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie Brody
Dec 15, 2014 Bonnie Brody rated it liked it
Authenticity, by Deirdre Madden, is a book about art and artists. I was really looking forward to reading it but found it to be slow going and not at all as I had hoped. Roderic, the protagonist of the novel, is a successful painter who has followed his muse his whole life. He has been challenged by alcoholism, inability to sustain intimacy, and concern about the quality of his artwork. He has been sober for two years and is trying to re-establish his relationships with his estranged children.

Sara Tys
Aug 08, 2007 Sara Tys rated it really liked it
I not quite sure why I liked this book so much; it's so different than what I usually read. I liked diving into the artistic world. Each charcter has their own struggles that correspond and contrast to the others. I loved the way this book was constantly in each new chapter you don't know where the author will take you.
Jaksie (jkcosmos) Cosmos
Mar 10, 2015 Jaksie (jkcosmos) Cosmos rated it it was ok
Shelves: light
A bit of a challenge to stay engaged with the reading; narrative could be faster in tempo.
Am sticking with it as I am interested in creative process and this author has a handle on that reality. I also appreciate the setting; ahh...Dublin. Quite nice
Sarah Jean
Apr 29, 2014 Sarah Jean rated it liked it
This book is an easy, entertaining, relaxing read. I don't have any strong opinions on the plot, the characters or the style, but I can't think of any particular reason to read or not to read it. If I had one criticism it would be that it all resolves a little too neatly at the end.
Aug 03, 2016 MyBookAffair rated it did not like it
The joys of reading Deirdre Madden's novel 'Authenticity' were few and far between. The sorry fact is that I did not enjoy reading this book half as much as I had hoped. To read my full review see my blog :
Ann M
I found the nonlinear narrative distracting and annoying, and while the author writes well in places, other large sections are backstory purely told, and boring to read through. There are some good parts and interesting observations, but all in all, a slog I didn't finish.
Sep 25, 2012 Daniela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Не особено интересното резюме изобщо не подсказва какво се крие между страниците. Нещо което не очаквах да намеря там, но което дълго ще помня. Великолепно написана книга. Болезнено искрена също.
I like the this book but, did not overtake me but, it has its moments. I will keep the book just the same its a good book,but it didn't make a great impression on me.
Andrew Diamond
Dec 22, 2015 Andrew Diamond rated it really liked it
This is an interesting and well-written book about what it means to live (and not live) the creative life. I wrote a little review at
Elizabeth Shafer
Nov 06, 2014 Elizabeth Shafer rated it really liked it
Although I thought one of the characters( Julia) was quite pretentious and irritating, I found this a very interesting novel.
Paul Jellinek
Mar 01, 2015 Paul Jellinek rated it really liked it
I remember this one being very well written, but not much else, which is why I'm only giving it four stars.
Brandy Blaylock
Sep 09, 2008 Brandy Blaylock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the way Madden portrays the life of an artist; the way if defines your personal relationships.
Cass rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2015
Heather Tosteson
Heather Tosteson rated it it was amazing
May 06, 2013
Solas Nua
Solas Nua rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2008
Pavlina rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2011
switterbug (Betsey)
switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was amazing
Aug 17, 2012
Declan rated it did not like it
Aug 24, 2011
Therese rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2011
Tom Storer
Tom Storer rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2014
Sive rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2014
Jennie rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2015
Scoutaccount rated it liked it
Nov 18, 2013
Mark rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2011
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Deirdre Madden is from Toomebridge, County Antrim in Northern Ireland. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and at the University of East Anglia. In 1994 she was Writer-in-Residence at University College, Cork and in 1997 was Writer Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. She has travelled widely in Europe and has spent extended periods of time in both France and Italy.
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