Whereabouts Of Eneas Mc Nulty
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Whereabouts Of Eneas Mc Nulty (McNulty Family)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  665 ratings  ·  99 reviews
When Eneas McNulty joined the British-led Royal Irish Constabulary, it proved to be the defining decision of his life. Having witnessed the murder of a fellow RIC policeman, he is wrongly accused of identifying the executioners. He is forced to flee, and what follows is the story of this flight.
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Published June 1st 2006 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 1998)
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Dem
The whereabouts of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry is the fourth book by Sebastian Barry that I have read.

Following the end of the First World War, Eneas McNulty joins the British-led Royal Irish Constabulary. With all those around him becoming soldiers of a different kind, it proves to be the defining decision of his life when having witnessed the further of a fellow RIC Policeman he is wrongly accused of identifying the executioners. With a sentence of death passed over him he is forced to fl...more
Elizabeth
I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as The Secret Scripture, and I'm glad I read that first because if I'd read this first I wouldn't have bothered with the other. However, I think this is a writer who is gaining in mastery and elegance with successive books, rather than churning them out for the sake of word count.

I won't recount the plot here, but I will comment that part of the reason I wanted to read this was to get a different view of Roseanne Clear, the main character in The Secret Scriptur...more
Bruce
Writing from the perspective of Eneas, beginning in his young childhood, Barry uses third person narrative, the present tense, and free indirect discourse to trace the life and development of this puzzled young man in Sligo, Ireland, beginning at about the start of the last century. Barry’s fine ear for the music and lilt of Sligo dialect waft the reader into the ambiance of western Ireland before and during World War I, conjuring the personalities and social customs of the times while also inca...more
Molly
Cast off from his beloved Irish town for "unpatriotic" deeds that were never cast in any such light for him, Eneas McNulty embarks on a life both stunningly eventful and surprisingly not. The heartbreaking accidents of what happens to him and how he gets by and what happens when he does venture home to see his beloved Mam and Pap sent me hurtling through the book, staying up much later than I should have at night. But it's the language, my God, that took it over the edge. Sebastian Barry can WRI...more
Teresa
A beautifully written book that seems as if it could only be about a Irishman, a man from a divided area who through no fault of his own is put on a 'side.' Yet the particulars of time and place are transcended with universal themes: the call of home and family, true friendship, loneliness (the raw, pure, hurting kind), and one's place in the world and beyond the world.

Paradoxically, seeing Irish history through the eyes of this naive, confused, apolitical man helped me understand its complexity...more
Kari
What an amazing story. It follows the life of one man, born in the early 1900s in a small coastal Irish town. He lives through war and isolation, constant fear and loneliness. I guess in my reviews I don't like to give any spoilers, so I'll just tell you how this book made me feel as I read it. It isn't an easy read -- not something you would breeze through lightly, but rather is one of those poetical prose books that cause you to stop and reread a sentence here and there, soaking in the subtlet...more
Tony
Barry, Sebastian. THE WHEREABOUTS OF ENEAS MCNULTY. (1998). ****. This was Barry’s second novel, and, of course, I’ve been reading them all out of order. There is a constant and recurring theme that has run throughout all of them, though, that makes you believe that Barry is realy writing a theme and variation on the same book many times. This novel focuses on Eneas McNulty, a man from Sligo, who grows up poor. His mom and dad both work at the insane asylum, sewing clothes for the inmates, but h...more
Diane Yannick
I didn't know much about the postwar politics in Ireland before I read this book. After WWI, Ireland had two very separate factions: those who were still fighting for Britain (Royal Irish Constabulary) and those who are intent on winning their freedom after 800 years of English oppression (IRA). After Eneas' service to the RIC, he has a death sentence levied on his head. For the rest of his life he deals with the aftermath of this decision. His childhood friend, Jonno, is one of the IRA enforcer...more
Ryan
It is easy to get lost in the beauty of the language. I found myself having to re-read paragraphs because I'd forgotten to pay attention to the plot, which is fairly simple but you do have to pay attention.

Sentences like:
Moonlight brings Nigeria closer to Ireland.
and
The atomic bomb brings the men home from every quarter of the earth because the war is not so much over as stunned back into history...

Every few pages I found myself interrupting my roommate to read a few sentences that were so lov...more
Marianne
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty is the sixth novel by Irish author Sebastian Barry and involves several characters of Barry’s later novel, The Secret Scripture, and his play, Our Lady of Sligo. Eneas McNulty is born in Sligo at the turn of the century, a gentle soul, naïve, guileless, who finds himself, not, as he had always believed, popular with lots of friends, but instead shunned, an outcast in his own town, his own country. At sixteen he joins the British Merchant Navy for the cause of Fra...more
Kate
This is a very enjoyable read not just because of the storyline and a well developed main character, but also because Sebastian Barry has such a beautiful lyrical prose style.

Eneas McNulty was born in 1900 in Sligo in the west of Ireland into an average working class home. As a young man, he didn't get involved with the revolutionaries but chose instead, in order to earn a living, to join the police. That began a chain of events which forced him out of his country and affected the rest of his l...more
Jennifer
I took this novel away with me because, after reading The Secret Scripture and A Long, Long Way I thought I couldn't go wrong with Sebastian Barry as my companion. Well, I hope I haven't read the best of him, because this one was disappointing. It was beautifully written, as are all Barry's works so far for me, but I just felt this one was a little less interesting and the style was a bit more viscous than his others.
The wanderings of Eneas were a little too meandering, and though I didn't real...more
Elinor
I didn't enjoy this as much as The Secret Scripture and found the story lacking at times; however, this is some of the best writing I have ever read - Sebastian Barry's language is absolutely stunning!
MaryBeth
I am currently reading this book, and it is feeding my need to connect to my Irish background.
Katherine
"He ate a feed of sheep's brains the once, and as he ate he knew sorrowfully that his father's brain and his own brain were such as he toyed with on his fork. He never ate such a sorrowful meal before nor since" (20).
"You can sense the press of men behind them, the truer flood of men, held in just as yet by the ramparts of the wishes of their wives" (20-21).
"'You dog,' he says, 'you low dog on all fours, you poor fighting pup with your tail bitten off by a tinker at birth.'
This is an obscure ins...more
Ron Charles
The war in Iraq has inspired a catalog of books, but so far the best are nonfiction. (Seymour Hersh's detractors may disagree.) Fictional treatments of the battles in Baghdad and Fallujah will eventually inform attitudes about the Iraq war even more powerfully than today's news reports and histories, but those tales may not appear soon. In the meantime, we're already seeing a season of stirring novels about life as a soldier.

If there were any lingering doubts, war is hell, and these novels use t...more
Lucy
I really enjoyed The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry and the small mentions of Eneas McNulty within that story had me intregued. When I found out that there was a book about Eneas I was quite excited to read it. Unfortunately I found The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty didn’t meet up to my expectations. It didn’t have half the draw of The Secret Scripture and even the parts that I did find interesting were far too brief. There were enough interesting bits to keep me going right to the end of th...more
Luke
This is a re-read. I first received and read this book about 8 years ago when I was living in Ireland. I remember loving it, but also absolutely devouring it under a week (Christmas vacation).

Reading it now, I realized what I'd missed (or perhaps why I enjoyed it so much): Barry writes amazing prose. On the copy I have, Irish novelist Roddy Doyle blurbs "it was like reading English for the first time." Frank McCourt blurbs "Barry writes like an angel." I agree with both of these assessments. Any...more
Rosemary
1998 prequel to A Secret Scripture, beautifully written story of Eneas McNulty, Roseanne's secret lover and the eldest McNulty brother in Sligo. As a young man returning from WWI he takes a job with the Royal Irish Constabulary which turns out to be a permanent death sentence. He must spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder for the assassins, searching for a home and place where he can fit in, a hated person forever. He notices a ship of Jews, other hated people with no one to welco...more
Jeremy Bailey
My first book by the author, I very much enjoyed his prose - it was precise but also evocative of an Ireland I only know from movies. Through no fault of his own, poor Eneas finds himself on the wrong end of a death sentence purely by accident and is ostracized from his beloved and native homeland. Furthermore he lives his life under the threat of assassination by his closest childhood friend who is now a player in the Irish nationalist movement. On the surface it is about the confusion caused b...more
Rick
Barry is a playwright and poet, as well as a fiction writer. This novel tells the tale of a wandering Sligo man, born at the start of the 20th century, who gets on an Irish nationalist death list for a brief, unfortunate and innocuous turn with the Royal Irish Constabulary in the starving years following the First World War. As a result, he spends his long life wandering Europe and Africa with only a couple widely scattered trips home; but he still finds his final days plagued by the fanatical z...more
Janet
The lilting prose of Barry is gorgeous; the story is a sad, Irish story, filled with the IRA, World Wars and old vengeful friends like Jonno Lynch, and good friends like Port Harcourt. The life-long story of Eneus does not end with the founding of Rome or a new city; it just ends.
Dot
I find the style of this author to be very lyrical and moving. I think this is the first one in the series that focuses on different members of the McNulty family in Sligo, Eire. The first name of the main character in this book reflects the tradition of "hedgerow schools' where poor children were taught by itinerant teachers and the author chooses this name as he character sometimes reflects on being named after Homer's Aeneas who was destined like him to roam the world. I think I see echoes of...more
Mary Halpenny-killip
Very good (if you can deal with depressing)--part of an ever interlocking set of novels, of which I've read three. Do enjoy Sebastian Barry's writing! County Sligo, early 1900s.
Fiona
I managed to miss the link between Roseanne of Secret Scripture and this Roseanne, probably because it's a few years since I read Scripture and wasn't looking for links. I don't think it mattered and I quite enjoyed thinking about it after reading others' reviews. Like others, I didn't enjoy Eneas nearly as much as Scripture or On Canaan's Side. There was too much soul-searching for me, too much doom and gloom, and not much happens really. I enjoy the lyrical way Barry writes. I enjoy reading in...more
Lorna
I found this one a hard one to rate. His prose is beautiful as usual: characters very well developed; portrayal of one rather hapless and politically unaware Irishman in the historical context of first half of 20th century really interesting; descriptions of life in Sligo quite astounding; however the nostalgia of the wandering Irishman I found a bit trite and definitely made me lose interest in him as a character - but that was what the book was about a lot of the time so overall good piece of...more
Paul
My current obsession is this delicious Irish playwright turned novelist. Marvelous metaphors make the often sad plots glow with life. The Irish were so poor they entertained themselves and others with language and Guinness Stout. Eneas McNulty lives in Sligo, far from the politics of Dublin. At 16 he has the roving urge and joins the British Merchant Marine. He returns to a different Sligo, where he is shunned for associating with the Brits. He must leave, chased by former friend, now IRA assass...more
Anne
I place this book on a moving scale from 2 stars to 5 stars. The writing is beautiful, in a meld of classical and Irish styles. I am caught in the nostalgia of the Ireland of my childhood (the '70's compared to the setting of the book, but proving that Irish mentality didn't change much over the decades of the 20th century) but at the same time detesting the narrowmindedness of the Irish people of that time. So much of what I love and hate about being Irish is depicted here.
Katie Hanrahan
Lyrical prose combined with storytelling akin to the ancient Greeks, all moved up into more modern times. Sebastian Barry takes the dark side of the Irish civil war and uses it to create an Everyman character who is buffeted by all that is unfair about life in turbulent times.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well-crafted prose that is not stuck on itself. Like all myths, there is much here that will force a reader to accept the implausible, but when you're under the spell of a m...more
Tom
A truly sad book about tempestuous times in 20th Century Ireland. When Eneas joins the police as a young man, he is put on a death list by Irish nationalists and is stuck with a tag which forces him to leave his home in Sligo and spend a lifetime watching his back. I saw this book as a satire but others might disagree. I found this book hard to follow initially because of the thick Irish language used but one soon grows accustomed to it. An interesting story which reflects a sorry state of recen...more
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Sebastian Barry is an Irish playwright, novelist and poet. He is noted for his dense literary writing style and is considered one of Ireland's finest writers

Barry's literary career began in poetry before he began writing plays and novels. In recent years his fiction writing has surpassed his work in the theatre in terms of success, having once been considered a playwright who wrote occasional nove...more
More about Sebastian Barry...
The Secret Scripture A Long Long Way On Canaan's Side Annie Dunne (Dunne Family #2) The Temporary Gentleman

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