Review - The Glorious Heresies, Lisa McInerney
The author of THE GLORIOUS HERESIES, Lisa McInerney, has a bio around the traps that's worded:
"Lisa McInerney is from Galway and is the author of award-winning blog 'Arse End of Ireland'. The Irish Times has called her 'the most talented writer at work in Ireland today'. Her mother remains unimpressed."
Get that tone and there's every chance you're going to love this book.
As the blurb says - "one messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society". It doesn't mention that the murder's not the only messy thing here. These are so many messed up, screwed up, f**ked up people, families, relationships, and ways of life in this book that you're going to need to sit up and pay very close attention.
Which is no trial at all given that this is madness on the page, written with a wonderfully dry, laconic sense of humour that doesn't pull punches. Although it does seem to have a finely tuned ability to pick just when there is the smallest possibility that the reader attention is wavering. So it can throw a couple of those punches and make damn sure that you're focused. Or else.
Needless to say, opponents of swearing, mucky sex, drug dealing, and reality in all it's nastiness should step away. There will be so much here to offend that you'd be hard pressed to tell what would horrify more. For this reader, however, there was so much to love. The style of the writing, the rawness and the brutality of the message, the searing honesty of the revelations and the fast-paced, in your face way of bringing it all together work. In amongst some stellar characterisations. Ryan and his father, each battling their own crusades are equally sympathetic and needing a bloody good talking to. Young Georgie is no prostitute with a heart of gold. She's strong, and whilst she might be a good person at the core - that heart of gold stuff is bullshit when it comes to a young woman trying to survive in a dog-eat-dog world.
And the murderer, and the murder at the core of THE GLORIOUS HERESIES is so apt for this sort of scenario. Life in this post-crash, gangsters rule, society on the edge world can go tits up in oh so many ways, for the victim, the murderer, her son, and the people who get dragged into the vortex of stupid. It all makes sense. It's not pretty, it's not necessarily comfortable, it's certainly not cosy and tidy and all neatly concluded so everyone can dust themselves off and trot home for a spot of tea.
Brutal, funny, dark, difficult, discomforting and a hell of a ride, THE GLORIOUS HERESIES (and you just know this has to be said) was utterly glorious.
One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .