Sunday, 1 March 2009

Thoughts on A Fairy Tale of New York

Have completed A Fairy Tale of New York by JP Donleavy.

I knew nothing about the author before reading this book. It was classed under the "comedy" genre in the Guardian list, but I found the book to be far more poignant and touching than funny.

Having loved and lived in New York, I could relate to Cornelius's sense of the city being so much bigger than any individual. New York is a city where so many people come to follow a dream, but end up struggling just to get by. The novel (as seen from Cornelius's persepective) captures the rawness, the dirt, the toughness, and the beauty and romanticism of New York.

The characters who Cornelius encounters are all tragic in one way or another, but touchingly so. You can feel their disappointments, their heartache, their hopes.

I could really feel New York whilst reading this book, and for all its warts and flaws, that's a good thing.

Next novel...another genre switch...The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes!!!!

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