Originally published in 1992, this childhood memoir, revised and augmented,
now has the status of a modern Irish classic.
‘He brings maturity to bear on the past, without making a parable of it.
Most of all he makes the past seem as it really is, swimming about inside
us. This is a great book altogether.’ –– The Irish Times
On his first trip abroad, Adrian Kenny observes that the signs are in one
language only. There is no need for translation: there is nothing behind. Not so in his suburban childhood and adolescence, where
Mayo is behind Dublin, poor fields behind the bourgeois drawing rooms of
Rathmines, wildness behind authority. Attached to both, his attempts to
reconcile them take him from close certainty to total collapse in the year
of change – America, 1968.
‘What was it all for?’ his father asks.
‘It's like the end of the Aeneid,’ whispers his friend.
‘You came at the end of that world,’ Father Wilmot says. The end of
Latin Mass, maids, floggings and charcoal suits.
The author's keen eye and clear style lends this portrayal of an individual
and a generation the truth and elegance of an enduring work of art.