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The Glorious Heresies

(Ryan Cusack #1)

by
3.77  ·  Rating details ·  5,536 ratings  ·  766 reviews
One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 9th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
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3.77  · 
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 ·  5,536 ratings  ·  766 reviews


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Paromjit
A gloriously moving, blackly comic, filthy and vibrant story from the award winning Lisa McInerney set in the rough port city of Cork in Ireland. 15 year old drug dealer Ryan Cusack has no intention of being anything like his violent and alcoholic dad, Tony, and he is mad for Karine, and wonder of wonders, she likes him. There is the unspeakable horror that is the larger than life neighbour. Maureen Phelan is the mother of Jimmy, the king of the criminal underbelly of Cork, and finds herself com ...more
Elyse Walters
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This story caught my interest right away with 15 year old Ryan and a girl who had been in his class for the past three years. Ryan thought Karine D'Arcy was "whip-smart and as beautiful as morning and each time he saw her he felt with dizzying clarity the blood in his veins and the air in his lungs and his heart beating strong in his chest".

Karine liked Ryan too....( a little happy shocker to Ryan's 15 year nerves). "She--Jesus--'LIKED' him".
When they were at Ryan's house for the first time, K
...more
Zoeytron
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Cold-cocked by an old lady wielding a Holy Stone, a hapless intruder has the temerity to die right there on Maureen's tile floor. What a mess. It will get cleaned up, but not without repercussions that will end up putting lives at risk and in turmoil.

Raw, raucous, and raunchy as all get-out. Cretins and slatterns, a mule-headed mob boss, a prostitute who dotes on detective novels with their 'cheesy gasbaggery', and a perfect horrorshow of a neighbor. Full of gritty goodness, this one.
Joe Valdez
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
My introduction to the fiction of Lisa McInerney is her debut novel The Glorious Heresies, winner of the Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction. Published in 2015, this is an example of a book that didn't surprise me at any turn but I kept reading, that wanders around with an awkward amount of coincidence but I kept reading, that I thought was okay but I kept reading. The next thing I knew, I had to finish it to find out what would happen to the characters. McInerney opened the door to a world that w ...more
Dem
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible
3.5 Stars
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney has left lost for words and my thoughts were all over the place on finishing this novel. This is a story set among the criminal and drug worlds of Cork in Ireland and is certainly not for the feint hearted as it is at times brutal, coarse and hard hitting and yet the writing is brilliant and the humour is Irish to the core.

I would never have picked up this novel if it hadn't won the Baileys price for fiction as neither the blurb or the cover ap
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
When a strange man breaks into Maureen's home she does the most logical thing and bops him over the head with a religious statue.


That makes a bit of a mess so she calls her ganster son Jimmy to clean it up. Thus starts the wheels on this book.
Everyone gets involved, either by choice or chance.

Ryan, a fifteen year old drug dealer and his abusive, alcoholic father Tony.
Georgie, the prostitute that lived with the dead guy. She finds herself hiding out in a cult, pregnant and still missing the gu
...more
Adina
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland
It took me a while to read this novel, a month to be precise. The reason was not the quality of the book but me being in a reading slump. It is true that I went skiing for a week where I did not have too much time to read but this is not my main issue. The recent political problems from my country sucked me dry of any will to do anything else than be in the street and fight against corruption. If you don’t know what I am talking about here is a link from the Economist that explains the situation ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Welcome to Cork – a quaint little nothing of a town in Ireland ran by local mob boss Jimmy. Cork is also where Jimmy’s birth mother Maureen lives and she’s just had an . . . uhhhhhh unfortunate interaction with an intruder. Luckily Jimmy is a problem-solver and calls on a favor of local drunk Tony. Tony gets more than he bargained for when the “favor” ends up being not only body disposal, but also a body he recognized – fellow boozer a
...more
Hugh
Vibrant, visceral and violent, this profane tragicomedy takes you deep into the dark heart of Ireland's depressed port city of Cork. On the face of it, this tale of gangsters, prostitutes and addicts with no prospects other than criminality ought to be bleak and depressing, but McInerney is a promising writer capable of brilliantly fiery descriptions, and she really makes you care about her characters enough to make its resolution genuinely moving. She is also fearlessly iconoclastic, unafraid t ...more
Edward Lorn
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
WINNER OF BOOK THE YEAR 2016!

Lisa McInerney joins the ranks of Marisha Pessl and Caroline Kepnes in that she writes men better than most male authors. Every dude in this book is dynamic and interesting. Ryan especially, but we'll get to him more in a minute.

I never would have grabbed this book if it wasn't for Crown Publishing sending me a review copy, and that's upsetting. So many terrific novels go unread every year, mainly because I can only read so much. If a book doesn't grab the hype train
...more
Paula Kalin
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Paula by: Baileys
Wow, what a fantastic dark and gritty book about the Irish underworld from Lisa McInerney. Winner of the Bailey's Prize in 2016, the book starts in with an accidental murder that interconnects 5 Irish characters including a 15 year old drug dealer named Ryan, his good for nothing father, a prostitute, and a gangster with a mother named Maureen that does him more harm than good.

Hilarious at times, especially Maureen, this intense and energetic book has a terrific plot and great Irish dialogue. I
...more
Maxwell
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, ireland, i-own-it
The Glorious Heresies has traces of A Brief History of Seven Killings and The Casual Vacancy, both of which are novels I enjoyed immensely. And I have to say that while this one was particularly dark, it has a hopefulness and humor to it that made it compulsively readable. I finished it off in two days time, and I think it's one that definitely warrants reading in large chunks. McInerney manages to weave together many characters' storylines into a novel that pushes the boundaries and plays as so ...more
Barry Pierce
There's something so wonderful about reading a novel set in your own city. Even if the picture painted isn't exactly a pretty one. Is this how Londoners and New Yorkers feel all the time?

The Glorious Heresies is a Bailey's Prize winning look at the criminal underbelly of Cork city. This isn't the Cork that Stephen visits with his father in Portrait of the Artist... anymore. We have Ryan, a young drug dealer with an absolute gowl of a father (god, this novel has rekindled my love for Cork slang),
...more
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ by: Kelly (and the Book Boar)
★★★☆☆

Upon completing this book a few weeks ago, I posted a rather misleading teaser suggesting that I’d either loved it or hated it. You see, way back when all those 2016 year-end reviews started rolling out, this was chosen by a couple of my friends as their, “Book of the Year.” Sadly, for me though, this fell squarely into that dreaded middle ground once again. <-- Story of my life. As promised, there was nothing too ridiculous™ within the tale itself. Everything was grounded in reality and
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This novel won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction this year (2016,) the only title from the list I hadn't been able to get my hands on (it figures!) This is the story of a very modern Ireland, with drug dealers and prostitutes. But in the context of post-Catholic, or maybe just over-Catholic Ireland, there is interesting commentary throughout on the effect of grouping some people into a "sinner" group, where they have to give up their children or go to jail or leave their community. And how t ...more
Trudie
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is fair to say I admired this Baileys Womans Prize for fiction winner - but didn't completely enjoy it.
I had doubts that insidiously creeped in about the halfway mark ...
This is in no way a critique of the marvellous writing but more a product of the fact the story depressed me. It must be a good writer who can make me laugh out loud and yet still make me feel absolutely wrung-out and desolate at where the story went and what we went through to get there.

The first really enjoyable aspect of
...more
Emma
If you're looking for gritty realism, Lisa Mcinnerney will provide. The five main characters in the novel are a combination of 'what I have to do to live' and 'f*** the world, i'm taking what I want'. Their lives are violent, depressing, and formed along lines that nobody seems able to escape. There's a touch of brilliance in her writing, but it's a hard read. Some have named it a comedy, but, for me, it's far too dark for that, more tragic than anything else. It made me feel claustrophobic, tra ...more
Viv JM
I am so glad that this book won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction because I don't think I ever would have picked it up otherwise and I LOVED IT!! The story starts with an accidental murder and follows the story of the people whose lives are affected. The characters in this book are a cross section from the criminal underbelly of Cork - drug dealers, prostitutes, gangsters and the like. McInerney writes about their lives with compassion, humanity and humour, and her writing is absolutely razo ...more
Sonja Arlow
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gritty Irish fiction at its finest, full of poverty, drugs, religious fanatics and one ghost.

When Maureen, the mother of a local gangster, kills an intruder by accident with one of her many holy statues, the mess has a ripple effect that affects a whole range of people. Most of them screw-ups of one sort or another, all constantly cheating one another and themselves in the process. The characters all seem to be picked at random but as the story progresses their connection – accidental or not – c
...more
Rachel
I hold onto her and tell her I love her and tell her I'll do anything she wants me to do but beyond my words and her weight in my arms there's the knowing we fucked this up. There was something beautiful here once.


This is one of the most hard-hitting and thematically rich books I've read in a long time. There's so much to unpack here, I'm not quite sure where to begin.

The Glorious Heresies centers around five characters: fifteen-year-old drug dealer Ryan and his alcoholic father Tony, grandmo
...more
Jill
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect to like this book so much, but for me it's a 5 star read!

It's full of black humor which made the dark subject matter & bleakness easier to read. Maureen especially made me laugh, even though she clearly has some issues to work through. She believes in "no authority but the holy trinity - the priest, the nuns and the neighbors" and "She didn't know the ins & outs of inebriation outside of being able to diagnose every stage of drunkenness as dictated by her nationality".

T
...more
Chadwick
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a word . . . glorious. (And heretical.)

Lisa McInerney’s story of interconnected Irish lives over five years in the underbelly and criminal world of Cork isn’t merely a fine and clever debut novel, it’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year. This is dark, hilarious, and heartfelt stuff.

There’s something in her voice that reminds me of Roddy Doyle at his Barrytown best. There’s the obvious Irishness they share, of course, but it’s more than that: it’s their ability to create a fully realiz
...more
Fran
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Born into an unforgiving chaotic world in Cork, Ireland, it is a struggle to rise above one's devastating roots. Such is the case in The Glorious Heresies. The lives of the principal characters are thoroughly fleshed out and one can understand the trials and tribulations contributing to their deviant behavior.

The intense narrative changes voices frequently so you must stay on your toes to totally absorb this story. The character of Ryan Cusack is especially sympathetic; so much potential, so ver
...more
Lisa
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Do not read this book expecting happy thoughts. It's dark and sad and gritty.
It's well written and the flow of the book is helped along by the links between the characters.
It's the sense of inevitability throughout that keeps the tone sombre despite some gallant attempts at humour - can these people possibly be 'saved'? And what exactly would that mean?
Lots to think about here.
John Braine
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2015
I had this on pre-order for months and I was really looking forward to it. It was well worth the eager awaiting. It’s set in the arse end of a Cork City which the Celtic Tiger shat all over before it scarpered. Though it starts with a murder, it’s no whodunnit. What’s it’s really about is how the characters deal with the small and large ways the murder impacts their lives. And that’s the strength of this book; they’re rich, believably flawed characters.

There’s Ryan who’s a smart kid but a bit of
...more
Jessica
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.

This isn’t a book that I would typically read, however, I did find it to be very interesting and fascinating. This isn’t a happy book. There’s organized crime, drug dealing, murder, and prostitution.

I really liked how the author weaved all the character’s stories together. Everyone was connected to each other.

The author’s writing was also very engaging; she really is a talented writer.

Overall, this book wasn’t necessarily my
...more
Paul Fulcher
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
The bint had only gone and killed someone. He supposed it was an appropriate carry-on for the block he was chipped from, but it didn't make it any less of an arseache. Jimmy liked to leave himself room for manoeuvre in his diary but 'Clean up after your mother offs someone' was a much more significant task that he'd have thought to factor in.


The freshest and most interesting voices English literature at present originate from Ireland (or the diaspora) and this is reflected in (most *) literary a
...more
Kasa Cotugno
"The parents cast the mould for the little ones, and the little ones curved to fit." This, in a nutshell, is the theme of this amazing novel from a young Irish author. This is really a microcosm of the Irish underbelly in, of all cities, Cork. I was reminded of the Seattle depicted in the series The Killing since both are cities on water, of similar size, and both enjoy a public reputation as tourist destinations. But that is far from the seedy portrait depicted here, a world of gangsters and pr ...more
Louise O'Neill
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So while I was on retreat I read this novel. The title is correct. It is a bloody glorious book. It goes from hilariously funny to devastating, and the writing is so deft and skilful it's almost breathtaking. A confident and assured debut. Lisa McInerney has talent to burn. I can't wait to see what she does next.
Faith
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even when I didn't understand the Irish slang, which was often, the language of this book seemed musical. This was a compelling book - funny, gritty, tragic, despairing and hopeful.

The action is set in motion when Maureen Phelan accidentally kills an intruder and her gangster son Jimmy chooses to dispose of the body to protect his mother. "Clean up after your mother offs someone was a much more significant task than he'd ever have thought to factor in". In retrospect, Jimmy should probably neve
...more
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Lisa McInerney’s work has featured in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, Granta and BBC Radio 4 and in the anthologies Beyond The Centre, The Long Gaze Back and Town and Country. Her debut novel The Glorious Heresies won the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize. Her second novel, The Blood Miracles, is published by John Murray in April 2017.

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Ryan Cusack (2 books)
  • The Blood Miracles
“She had a face like a slapped arse and an arse like a bag of Doritos” 7 likes
“The Church creates its sinners so it has something to save.” 4 likes
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