Reader Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel – compelling story, vivid characters and a lucid portrayal of Lisbon. I was transported both to a different European city and to being once again at the threshold of proper adulthood – this is what the novel is really about: it poses the question, what sort of grown-up do I want to be?

The protagonist is deeply flawed, but endearing. He is in the tradition of the comic anti-hero, reminiscent of The Shipping News or Confederecy of Dunces, and yet by the end of the novel he almost displays an odd type of heroics as he steps fully into adulthood.

I laughed a great deal – such is Lorcan McNamee’s talent at spinning ridiculous situations. However, it is all laced with a compassion for his characters and underpinned with truth.

Anyone who has taught English as a second language, or tried to assimilate into another culture, or has drunk excessively while living overseas will recognise the characters and events of the story and thoroughly enjoy a novel which becomes increasingly compelling as you continue to read.

Andrew T.

From Amazon.com

This novel will make you want to visit Lisbon, drive on an old tram and drink sweet coffee. You will enjoy getting to know Cian in his disarming self absorbtion. It’s funny, and Irish and human. There’s a tension throughout the story that might make you anxious! I really look forward to Lorcan Mc Namee’s next novel…this was a delight.

Jean K.

From Goodreads.com

The sense of place is the biggest protagonist in this story. Its buildings, restaurants, streets, modes of transport all are integral, setting the stage for Cian and his dramatic experiences. It’s a quiet, life affirming hug, that reassures.

As in life there are characters that are difficult to warm to initially, but once we get to know more about who they are, we find the vulnerability that shapes all our personalities. Of course there are characters that you are helplessly drawn too, just like Cian is. Dina is a beautiful creation, and we all should have met someone like her.

As with all good reads, you are drawn in, and really want to discover what happens next in every twist of Cian’s featured life.

Quentin Scallon

Um restaurante no largo da Graça, não muito longe da esplanada da Senhora do Monte, onde trabalha Mário, em que param habitualmente dois trintões lisboetas, os “dois manueis”, eternamente infantis. No bairro vive Dina, ex-emigrante nos EUA, retornada a Portugal com o filho de sete anos, seguida por um marido que esconde uma vida secreta. Há ainda Patrícia, uma portuguesa de 15 anos apaixonada pelo seu professor de inglês, o qual por sua vez está em trânsito para sair da adolescência.
O cenário é Lisboa dos anos 2000, como podia ser dos anos 90, retratada na Graça, Alfama, Cidade Universitária, Campo Grande, Rossio ou Bairro Alto.
O enredo envolve escândalos financeiros, festas, muito álcool, homossexualismo e heterossexualismo, racismo, organizações secretas de extrema direita, e jornalistas de tabloides.
A história é contada “por dentro”, a partir de um ecossistema da cidade que passa despercebido a muitos: os professores estrangeiros de inglês, quase sempre jovens e sem experiência no ensino, vindos dos quatro cantos do mundo, do Canadá à África do Sul, ou da Nova Zelândia, EUA, Índia, Reino Unido. Cian (lê-se “Quian”) O’Dwyer, o protagonista desta aventura, vem da Irlanda, de perto de Limerick e no final da história revela-se como um lisboeta.
Esta é uma história de personagens, que nos descreve uma cidade persistentemente rude, ou típica, ou exótica. Uma Lisboa que resiste – e que talvez esteja agora, nestes anos da explosão turística e da gentrificação, a desaparecer (mas há décadas que nos dizem isto e, no entanto, Lisboa continua).

Pedro Rodriguês