This is an almost true Irish story. Murphy was a child of the newly emerging 1950's Irish middle class. He was raised in the environment of a conflicted marriage that never should have happened. While his privileged upbringing seemed idyllic to the outside world, his reality was starkly different. Life at home was always turbulent; he never knew what daily chaos would erupt. His 13-year Jesuit education was academically excellent. But it also resulted in a childhood love of God being beaten out of him, while confirming his condemnation to burn forever in hell. Murphy was unsettled by the rigid Irish class system where social status predetermined one's future, thereby condemning innocent children and adults to the inevitability of an impoverished life. Signs of his destruction from alcohol were evident in his early teens. He became a meteor raging through the lives of those who loved him and many who didn't.
This Irish memoir of an Irish Catholic childhood begins in Limerick, Ireland, and takes us on a personal journey complete with the challenges of Catholic schooling, the confusion of adolescence within a culture that condemned even the thought of anything carnal, the allure of omnipresent alcohol, and the desperate need to escape the misery so bound up in strong family ties that escape was near impossible. Told with forgiveness and humor and compassion for the innocent child who turned rebellious and self-destructive and learned most lessons the hard way.
What made the experience of listening to The Longfellah's Son the most enjoyable?
The melancholy, the hope and the humor in the author's voice which pulls you into the novel.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Longfellah's Son?
Murphy's Christmas in Dublin, a very witty chapter that drawns you in so intensely you feel like you are covered in snow in December on Grafton Street.
Which character – as performed by Michael Cassidy – was your favourite?
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed at the author's funny antidotes, I cried at the author's hostile family situation and yet remained optimistic that Murphy would break free to claim his own destiny.
Any additional comments?
Artfully evokes the realities of living in Old Ireland filled with gloom, emotional charge, humor and ambition.