An Evening of Long Goodbyes

An Evening of Long Goodbyes

A Novel

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
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Vastly entertaining and outright hilarious, Paul Murray's debut heralds the arrival of a major new Irish talent. His protagonist is endearing and wildly witty--part P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster, with a cantankerous dash ofA Confederacy of Dunces' Ignatius J. Reilly thrown in. With its rollicking plot and colorful characters,An Evening of Long Goodbyesis a delightful and erudite comedy of epic proportions. Charles Hythloday observes the world from the comfortable confines of Amaurot, his family estate, and doesn't much care for what he sees. He prefers the black-and-white sanctum of classic cinema--especially anything starring the beautiful Gene Tierney--to the roiling and rumbling of twenty-first-century Dublin. At twenty-four, Charles aims to resurrect the lost lifestyle of the aristocratic country gentleman--contemplative walks, an ever-replenished drink, and afternoons filled with canapés as prepared by the Bosnian housekeeper, Mrs. P. But Charles's cozy existence is about to face a serious shake-up. His sister, Bel, an aspiring actress and hopeless romantic, has brought to Amaurot her most recent--and to Charles's mind, most ill-advised--boyfriend. Frank is hulking and round, and resembles nothing so much as a large dresser, probably a Swedish one. He bets on greyhounds and talks endlessly of brawls and pubs in an accent that brings tears to Charles's eyes. And, most suspiciously, his entrance into the Hythlodays' lives just happens to coincide with the disappearance of an ever-increasing number of household antiques and baubles. Soon, Charles and Bel discover that missing heirlooms are the least of their worries; they are simply not as rich as they have always believed. With the family fortune teetering in the balance, Charles must do something he swore he would never do: get a job. Booted into the mean streets of Dublin, he is as unprepared for real life as Frank would be for a cotillion. And it turns out that real life is a tad unprepared for Charles, as well.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400061167
1400061164
Branch Call Number: MURR
Characteristics: 424 p

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u
uncommonreader
Aug 02, 2012

First book. A "Bertie Wooster" type character. A comedy. Much too long.

h
halgeon
Dec 20, 2011

I read this after I had read 'Skippy Dies' (which I loved), so had high expectations. It was a fair book, but I wasn't really sure of the motivation of the characters -- especially Charles and Bel. I would have liked a bit more background on their history as children and their relationship with their father especially.

wwgg Jun 22, 2011

Like "Parrot and Olivier in America" or "Don Quixote" this is a poignant story of lost culture, this time to the "Celtic Tiger" of Ireland in the 1990s. Charles is a sweetie - and unfortunately even his friend Frank hasn't got what it takes to stand up to the changes...

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