January book club - Book for discussion is 'Shadowplay' by Joseph O'Connor

The London Irish Book club has been going for many years.

It concentrates on Irish authors both fiction and non fiction. The style is extremely informal.

You can contribute your opinion or just sit and listen to the comments of others on each book.

Our age range is diverse and we decide on the next title by consensus.

Nobody is an expert here although we do have one new author!

Your thoughts are as good as anyone else's and we frequently disagree on the merits of our books.

About this months book:

Review

"Dazzling...the panache and subtlety of his prose perfectly match that gusto and creative finesse of the High Victorian world his novel wonderfully evokes" (Sunday Times)

"An ingenious novel… O’Connor’s work is hugely impressive and utterly haunting" (Sunday Mirror)

"Joseph O’Connor is a very great artist and storyteller. The quotient of enjoyment in his extraordinary new novel is stupendous" (Sebastian Barry)

"A hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love, it is also, movingly – at times, astonishingly – a story of transience, loss and true loyalty" (Sadie Jones Guardian)

"A work of Gothic splendour...O'Connor's writing is always intensely atmospheric. As a romp through Ripper-ravaged London, Shadowplay is mightily entertaining. But as a meditation on hidden sexuality, it is powerful and poignant" (Literary Review)

"A fabulous novel that tells the otherwise largely unknown story of the man behind Gothic horror's most enduring character… The narrative stretches decades, and throbs with theatrical vigour. This is writing at its most immersive, full of Dickensian pulchritude and pathos. It should, and might well, win prizes" (Nick Duerden i)

"A rollicking tale… an affecting depiction of artistic and social emancipation… O’Connor’s well-researched theatrical caper offers total immersion in a romantic, lost London... be nourished by a colourful tale of secret love and public performance" (The Times)

"There are few living writers who can take us back in time so assuredly, with such sensual density, through such gorgeous sentences. Joseph O’Connor is a wonder, and Shadowplay is a triumph." (Peter Carey, twice winner of the Booker Prize)

"Gorgeously dark… Shadowplay is an accomplished, compelling read" (Herald)

"A hugely entertaining and atmospheric novel, one can almost smell the greasepaint" (Deborah Moggach)

From the Back Cover

1878: The Lyceum Theatre, London. Three extraordinary people begin their life together, a life that will be full of drama, transformation, passionate and painful devotion to art and to one another. Henry Irving, the Chief, is the volcanic leading man and impresario; Ellen Terry is the most lauded and desired actress of her generation, outspoken and generous of heart; and ever following along behind them in the shadows is the unremarkable theatre manager, Bram Stoker.

Fresh from life in Dublin as a clerk, Bram may seem the least colourful of the trio but he is wrestling with dark demons in a new city, in a new marriage, and with his own literary aspirations. As he walks the London streets at night, streets haunted by the Ripper and the gossip which swirls around his friend Oscar Wilde, he finds new inspiration. But the Chief is determined that nothing will get in the way of his manager's devotion to the Lyceum and to himself. And both men are enchanted by the beauty and boldness of the elusive Ellen.

This exceptional novel explores the complexities of love that stands dangerously outside social convention, the restlessness of creativity, and the experiences that led to Dracula, the most iconic supernatural tale of all time.

About the Author

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. His books include eight previous novels: Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Desperadoes, The Salesman, Inishowen, Star of the Sea (American Library Association Award, Irish Post Award for Fiction, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European novel of the year), Redemption Falls, Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book Novel 2011) and The Thrill of it All. His fiction has been translated into forty languages. He received the 2012 Irish PEN Award for outstanding achievement in literature and in 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.

www.josephoconnorauthor.com

 

Free event - booking in advance is essential! You can book here or get in touch with the organiser Greg directly on [email protected] 

You can also connect with the London Irish Book Club on Facebook

Other upcoming dates for the diary are as follows:

Monday 30th March

Tuesday 26th May 

Monday 20th July

Monday 28th September

Monday 30th Nov

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