Monday, July 28, 2014

The Temporary Gentleman

Death. The title of Sebastian Barry’s novel, The Temporary Gentleman, refers to the period of military service by the protagonist and narrator, Jack McNulty. Set in Accra, Sligo and Ghana, the novel presents Jack’s recollections of his life. The atmosphere Barry provides with his descriptive language helps bring the novel to life, and offers a counterpoint to what for the most part is the destructive progression toward death of both Jack and his wife, Mai. Both of them choose alcohol as their path to a slow death. Jack’s recalled deep love for Mai contrasted with his proven failure to show that love through his lack of care for Mai, his frequent absence in their lives, and his failure to meet basic responsibilities within a marriage. I can’t recall enjoying a novel about ruined lives as much as I did this one, thanks to Barry’s fine prose. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase The Temporary Gentleman from

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