`The Journey Home' is the story of a young boy's struggle towards maturity, set against a shocking portrait of Ireland: a tough urban landscape, not a rural Eden. Francis Hanrahan, the shy child of grey suburban streets, is Francy at home to his country-born parents. But when he meets Shay, an older, wilder image of himself, he becomes Hano, and is cast out into the night-time world of Dublin - a world of drugs, all-night drinking sessions in bars and snooker halls, and the stench of political corruption.
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Dermot Bolger was born in Dublin in 1959. His novels and plays have won many awards, in Ireland and internationally. He has also published several volumes of poetry. Bolger has been a notable and energetic champion of new Irish writers in his capacity as founder-publisher of Raven Arts Press, which he ran until 1992, whereafter he went on to start New Island Books. He is also the editor of the Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Writing, and editor of Finbar's Hotel and Ladies' Night at Finbar's Hotel.From Publishers Weekly:
Set in the suburbs of Dublin in the early '80s, this novel—Irish poet, playwright and novelist Bolger's third—chillingly portrays a bleak Ireland that offers its youth few options. When Francis Hano Hanrahan finds temporary employment at the voters' register's office, he meets Shay, a charismatic trickster who spins entertainment out of their dreary workplace. As Shay's sidekick, Hano gets caught up in Dublin's nightlife and becomes further estranged from his parents. Before the year is over, Shay leaves for the factories of Germany and Hano's father dies. Left responsible for his mother and four younger siblings, Hano has little choice but to work for local tycoon Pascal Plunkett, whose brother Patrick is a junior minister in the national government. As Pascal's chauffeur and sometime heavy, Hano finds himself ensnared in the Plunkett brothers' ruthless world. By the time Shay returns from the continent, both young men have been irrevocably damaged, and their attempt to free themselves from the Plunketts ends in tragedy. Bolger generates intensity and lyricism from his characters' despair as they spiral into criminality. (Mar.)
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