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The Glorious Heresies
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Previous Reads: Fiction > The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

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message 1: by Louise, Group Founder (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise | 680 comments Mod
Our July Group read is winner of this years Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction: The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

Description (UK Paperback)
Maureen didn't mean to kill a man, but what can a poor dear do when she's surprised by an intruder and has only a holy stone to hand? Lucky that she's just reconnected with her estranged son Jimmy because, as the most feared gangster in Cork, he certainly has the tools to sort out the mess.
So Jimmy enlists his boyhood body Tony who, with six kids and a love of the bottle, could certainly do with the money, even if his teenage son, Ryan, is far too keen to grow up so he can become a gangster himself. And all is going to plan until Georgie, the girlfriend of the hapless intruder, starts to wonder where he went...

The Glorious Heresies was named as a book of the year by The Irish Times, Sunday Independent and Sunday Business Post in 2015. It won the Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction 2016 and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.\

Lisa McInerney
Lisa McInnerney is an Irish blogger and writer. Her blog 'The Arse End of Ireland', chronicling working class life in a Galway council estate, won the 'best humour' award in the Irish blogging awards 2009 and was nominated in the 'best blog' category three years running. Before The Glorious Heresies, McInerney had published several short stories. The Glorious Heresies is her debut novel.

Questions/Discusion points

* For those who have read any other of the 2016 Bailey's shortlist: How goes The Glorious Heresies compare? Do you think it deserved to win?

(more to come after I've read the book myself)

PS. Apologies for slightly late thread. As some of you know I am based in the UK and have been a little bit distracted this last week by events over here.

message 2: by Anita (new) - added it

Anita (anitafajitapitareada) | 1001 comments Mod
I've been on hold for this since you announced it would be July's read, but I'm number 12 in line... so I don't think I'll be getting it this month :/

message 3: by Louise, Group Founder (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise | 680 comments Mod
Oh no! Guess a lot of other people had the same idea when it was announced as the Baileys winner.

I've got my copy, but not got round to starting yet. Current book is taking a bit longer than expected. But i'm looking forward to reading it soon.

message 4: by Louise, Group Founder (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise | 680 comments Mod
So I finished this a while ago and while 'enjoyed' would be the wrong word, given some of the subject matter, I did think it was very good.

further discussion points from reading it:

A lot of the review quotes on the cover describe this book as a 'comedy' or 'hilarious'. Would you describe The Glorious Heresies as a comedy? Why/why not?

The book takes place over the course of several years. Did your perception or sympathy for the characters change over time? How? Did you have a favourite character at all?

message 5: by Louise, Group Founder (last edited Jul 30, 2016 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Louise | 680 comments Mod
And for my answers:

1. This is the only book from this years Bailey's shortlist that I've read, so I can't really compare them. It's probably not a book I would have picked up on my own without a strong recommendation from somebody else, but I enjoyed it.

2. I really really don't think this is a comedy. It has humorous parts, for sure, but I think calling it a comedy is a massive stretch. It's not just that the subject matter can get pretty dark (though actually I think the book could have done with getting a bit darker to hit home), comedies can be super dark, but it just didn't have the tone of a book that was meant to be funny to me. Perhaps these reviewers were more familiar than I am with the author's blogging though...I know that is apparently very funny.

3. Yes my sympathy for Ryan slowly (and then not so slowly) evaporated, as did my patience for his girlfriend. While my sympathy for his dad increased. But, really, absolutely nobody was likable and I didn't 'like' anyone, even if I found their characters interesting.
My 'unfavourite' though has to be 'Maureen', who felt like she had walked in from a completely different type of book (a book that may possibly have been intended as a comedy) and was entirely too preachy (about issues that I agreed with, even!) for me to have any patience with her after the fourth or fifth rant about how Ireland/Catholicism hates women.

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