"HONOUR IS THAT QUALITY ONE CHERISHES,
KEEPS, PROCLAIMS AND EXEMPLIFIES
UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU ARE DAMN SURE
CERTAIN IT WOULD DO YOU NO BLOODY
DAMN GOOD TO KEEP, CHERISH,
PROCLAIM OR EXEMPLIFY IT
ANY LONGER."


- J.P. Donleavy from A Singular Country
Photo by Patrick Prendergast.
This review of A Singular Country first appeared in Publishers Weekly, March 30, 1990.

"A Singular Country"

"It is now time to get it firmly established in your mind that Ireland is more upper cruster pukka than you think.'' So begins this entertaining excursion into the untrammeled opinions of Donleavy, the Bronx-born Irish author of The Ginger Man, A Singular Man et al. With bawdy humor, Donleavy, in this idiosyncratic sketch of his adopted homeland, takes aim at indigenous "yuppies,'' nouveau riche American tourists and other material and philosophical invaders of Gaelic tranquility.

The targets range from the Anglo-Saxon-Irish ascendancy, whose "pasha Squire'' descendants allow paying guests into their crumbling estates, to real estate entrepreneurs, whom he sees as scarring the Irish landscape with crass bungalows. Comic, perceptive, rich in anecdotes, this picture will unsettle some readers, but the accompanying photographs by Patrick Prendergast confirm that Ireland's ancient beauty lives on.

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