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The deposition of Father McGreevy /
Brian O'Doherty.
New York : Turtle Point Press ; Books & Co, ; Helen Marx Books, c1999.
404 p. ; 23 cm.
More Details
New York : Turtle Point Press ; Books & Co, ; Helen Marx Books, c1999.
general note
catalogue key
A Look Inside
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Man Booker Prize for Fiction, GBR, 2000 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1999-02-15:
What was the cause of the destruction of an Irish mountain village? In the fictive memoir that makes up the bulk of this book, the village's priest recounts the macabre events that began with the swift deaths of six women in the winter of 1939, and ended with the village deserted, himself defrocked, others dead, rumors of men copulating with beasts and a man charged with murdering his own son. Father McGreevy vows to be "as honest as I can in this deposition, and the word can't help but bring to mind the Deposition of Our Lord Himself from the Cross." Trying to explain what he has seen, he draws on Catholic theology, Irish history and folklore and Irish-language literature. Are his parishioners victims of S¡ (vengeful Irish spirits)? Of the forces fighting in WWII? Of an angry God seeking a sacrificial lamb? The fictitious London editor William Maginn introduces Father McGreevy's manuscript in a prologue set in the 1950s; in two concluding chapters, Maginn interviews the disaster's aged survivors, climbs the mountain where it all happened and meditates on Irish history. O'Doherty (The Strange Case of Mademoiselle P.) works overtime with local color, pathos and religious symbolism in this elaborately constructed homage and elegy to rural, Gaelic Ireland. Lamb (or scapegoat) symbols are everywhere, and MaginnÄwho annotates McGreevy's accountÄcan be all too eager to help us interpret: "The dead village, with its lost memories, reached back to similar desolations... " McGreevy's own style veers between believable dialect and over-the-top stage-Irish ("It was grand to be out in God's good air those summer days that went on forever"). His first-person narration can be hard to take: "`Is it talking to me you are, Father?' I hit her on the head with a heavy hand. I couldn't help it." Readers will surely enjoy the history and myth O'Doherty spins out here, however, and the harrowing plot he imagines. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-03-01:
A visit to a ghost town will inevitably raise the question, "Why did everyone leave?" While "ghost towns" are most often associated in the American mind with the frontier West, this richly evocative novel details the painful demise of a tiny mountain village in rural Ireland. Told from the viewpoint of Father McGreevy, the devout, na‹ve priest of a little flock, this is a tale of many conflicts: humans vs. environment, faith vs. superstition, and the cultural differences and suspicions that often deteriorate into fear and hatred between neighboring towns. If the conclusion is foregone, the story is still worth telling, and in his second novel O'Doherty (The Strange Case of Mademoiselle P., LJ 5/1/92) tells it with exquisitely suggestive detail. Highly recommended.ÄKay Hogan, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 1999
Kirkus Reviews, March 1999
Library Journal, March 1999
Booklist, April 1999
San Francisco Chronicle, March 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. 1
The Priest's Storyp. 9
William Maginnp. 271
Old Biddyp. 274
Muirisp. 289
Epiloguep. 310
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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