Meet Pat McNab, forty-five years old, often to be found endlessly puffing smokes and propping up the counter of Sullivan's Select Bar or sitting on his mother's knee, both of them singing away together like some ridiculous two-headed human juke box. But that was all before the story really begins. Emerald Germs of Ireland is, in essence, Pat McNab ...
Meet Pat McNab, forty-five years old, often to be found endlessly puffing smokes and propping up the counter of Sullivan's Select Bar or sitting on his mother's knee, both of them singing away together like some ridiculous two-headed human juke box. But that was all before the story really begins. Emerald Germs of Ireland is, in essence, Pat McNab's post-matricide year. This is another great romp from the master of black comedy. 'Emerald Germs is an extraordinary confection. Melancholy, nasty, and extremely funny' Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph 'A mesmerising, disturbing and sometimes wildly funny book' Carolyn Hart, Marie Claire, Book of the Month
Publishers Weekly, 2001-03-05 McCabe's jokey verbosity and energetic narrative voice are on full display in this messy but manically vibrant novel. Pat McNab's social position in the dully parochial Irish village of Gullytown ranks above village idiot but below town drunk. Few of his fellow citizens would suspect the wild tales he tells are true, much less entertain the idea that he could be a serial killer. Norman Bates, however, has nothing on the middle-aged, reclusive Pat, who enjoys a beyond-Oedipal relationship with his mother (she recurrently appears long after he has dispatched her with a frying pan) and tallies up a final body count estimated "around the fifty, fifty-five mark." Over the course of McCabe's fluctuating, episodic novel, Pat's victims number fewer than two dozen, but each is linked with the popular songs and traditional ballads that reflect Pat's pathetic dreams of becoming a pop singer. The teetotaling, intrusive Mrs. Tubridy is downed with alcohol to the tune of "Whiskey on a Sunday," and a land-swindling neighbor is burned in Pat's barn with "Old Flames" for background music. At other times, Pat's hallucinatory fantasies transform his mundane life into a spaghetti western, sci-fi epic or gangster movie. While Pat bears more than a casual resemblance to Francie Brady, the sympathetic, psychotic hero of The Butcher Boy, this novel's heavy irony, mock verbosity and genre-juggling are more reminiscent of McCabe's recent "serial novel," Mondo Desperado. Although the Grand Guignol humor wears thin after the first several deaths, McCabe gives occasional revealing glimpses into Pat's damaged psyche and the stifling mindset of village life. The mixed results are a thoroughly Irish stew of pathos and bathos, deep melancholy and wild humor, cutting observation and pure blarney. 8-city author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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