Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Desperadoes” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  208 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A telephone call shatters the calm of a Dublin summer morning bringing terrible news from war-torn Nicaragua: Johnny Little has been caught up in a mysterious skirmish and killed. Grief-stricken, his estranged parents Frank and Eleanor set out on the arduous journey to bring their wayward son home. It's a quest that will have profound consequences: in this hauntingly beaut ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 26th 2010 by Flamingo (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Desperadoes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Desperadoes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 323)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Serjeant Wildgoose
I have just finished this, my first, of O'Connor's books. I know he is well regarded and I expected great things; this did not deliver. The writing is pretty light-weight and the storyline far from compelling. It plays around with those old chestnuts of Irish stereotype, abusive childhood and alcoholism, albeit cast in flash-back while the storyline is unraveled against an unconvincing back-drop of the war in Nicaragua. Although there is the odd twist here and there I found myself pushing on thr ...more
This tale started off quite good,and got better as it went on. The description of Managua,Corinto and many other parts of Nicaragua were very well writen and gave you the 'feel' of those places.I was however distracted by the very 'irish' and 'catholic' way the author thinks, talks and writes. Although I'm Irish, and was brought up as a Catholic....this did annoy me. This I could have lived with,if Mr. O'Conner had not wasted the potential of this story,but he seemed give up, and left me wonderi ...more
Apr 21, 2008 Joe rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: irish
I read this way back in 1994, nice story of a Irish family going through turmoil with a wayward son. Some comic parts and well worth a read.
Martina Reilly
One of the best books I've ever read. Funny and deeply moving.
oOSarahOo ☼Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans☼
An excellent read. What can I say about this book? It's funny, tense, moving and poignant all at the same time, a fantastic modern-day adventure in Nicaragua. Having read O'Connor's Star of the Sea (a must-read!), I didn't expect such a tale at all but loved it all the same! O'Connor is such a fantastic story-teller, he manages to draw the reader into any story, in any setting. His books are compelling and powerful and he has definitely become one of my favorite authors:)
I read this when I was in college. It's an interesting piece historically, for it takes place when Nicaragua was invaded by he US and Noriega forcefully ousted. The son of an Irish couple has gone missing, and they find friends of his who are willing to take a road trip across the countryside to help find him. The descriptions of rural Nicaragua are fascinating, but the two main characters themselves come across as incredibly forgettable.
Joseph O'Connor is so good at giving his characters voice ... a harem scarem tale, pacey, gripping and hugely entertaining.
I absolutely loved this book - read it 3 times and it made me want to go off into the wilderness and have me some adventures!
Tim O'Connor
Great book - great writer
doesnt get enough distribution or press in the uUS
A big deception ! Hey, what are you doing Jo, with this book !! :p
Bought this book, I think because i liked the picture on the cover, as such I had no particular expectations when I sat down to read it on holiday this year.
I really enjoyed it, set in an interesting and violent period of recent history which is contrasted with the personal struggles of one Irish family in their search for their son and the history of their relationship.
I would agree that it tails off somewhat at the end, but I still think it a rewarding and interesting read.
Erin is currently reading it
May 15, 2015
Alison added it
Apr 30, 2015
Karan marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2015
Chris Black
Chris Black marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2015
Scott White
Scott White marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mother Ireland: A Memoir
  • Havoc, in Its Third Year
  • Strumpet City
  • Rover Saves Christmas
  • Signs Preceding the End of the World
  • Abbott Awaits
  • Northline
  • The Tao of Muhammad Ali
  • Resurrection Man
  • The Best of Myles
  • Finbar's Hotel
  • Why Socrates Died: Dispelling the Myths
  • Who Got Einstein's Office? Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study
  • Granta 123: The Best of Young British Novelists 4
  • The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940
  • The Mermaid and the Drunks
  • Bøvl med bandagerne (Freddy-serien, #5)
  • The Chinchilla Farm
There is more than one author with this name

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes , The Salesman , Inishowen , Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls , as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction.

He was recently voted ‘Irish Writer of the Decade’ by the readers of Hot Press magazi
More about Joseph O'Connor...
Star of the Sea Ghost Light Redemption Falls Yeats Is Dead!: A Mystery by 15 Irish Writers The Salesman

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »