A swirling, psychedelic, bleakly funny fugue by the Booker-shortlisted author of The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto.
A verse epic for the 21st century, Poguemahone combines the fragmentation of cummings and Williams and the spontaneity of Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti with a soundtrack by Mott the Hoople, then douses it in whisky and sets it on fire. Ancient as myth and wholly original, Poguemahone is a masterpiece of formal invention with the rollicking clip of a drinking song and the devastating story of one family’s history—and the forces, seen and unseen, that make their fate.
Una Fogarty, suffering from dementia in a Margate care home, would be alone were it not for her brother Dan, whose free verse monologue tells the story of their clan. Exile from Ireland and immigrant life in England. Their mother’s trials as a call girl. Young Una’s search for love in a hippie squat in Kilburn, and the two-timing Scottish poet and stoner whose vatic recitals and prog rock vibes she’ll never get over. Not to mention the squat itself, seemingly haunted by vindictive ghosts who eat away at the sanity of all who lived there. Now she sits outside in the Margate sun as her memories unspool from Dan’s mouth, whose own role in her story grows ever stranger—and more sinister.
Praise for Patrick McCabe
“McCabe [is] as skilled and significant a novelist as Ireland has produced in decades.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Lyrical and disturbing, horrific and hilarious.”—The New York Times
“[McCabe is] one of the most brilliant writers ever to come out of Ireland.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Breakfast on Pluto may be the most successful book yet to be born out of the violence [in Northern Ireland] … Stunning originality.”—New York Times Book Review
“McCabe certainly has a talent for creating memorable characters who are worth spending some time with, warts and all.”—Library Journal
“McCabe slowly transforms his unreliable narrator from a campy Austin Powers-like figure to a sick creep with a violent streak. [A] mesmerizing but unsettling read.”―Booklist
“A spellbinding story of betrayal and broken dreams narrated to a wonderfully menacing effect … the sheer force of his language … positively thrums with life.”—Los Angeles Times
“The Dead School makes compelling literature … The writing is seamless, the effect shocking: Imagine Apocalypse Now cheerfully narrated by Jimmy Stewart.”—The Seattle Times
“Reading fiction will never be the same again.”—Roddy Doyle, author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
“A dark genius of incongruity and the grotesque.”—Hermione Lee, author of Tom Stoppard: A Life
“A savage and unfettered imagination.”—Erica Wagner, author of Seizure
“A sustained achievement of often dazzling brilliance.”—Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting
“Stark, fierce, and wonderful.”—Claire Kilroy, author of The Devil I Know
“Gloriously deranged, wired to the moon, truly inspired.”—Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane
“Like reading sections of Ulysses.”—Neil Jordan