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A Mad and Wonderful Thing tells its tale lightly, but pulls a heavy load. It takes us beyond the charming, familiar, and often funny experiences of everyday life to the forces that bind people together, and that set them against each other — and to the profound consequences of the choices that they make.

'You wouldn't get involved, Johnny, would you? What about those terrible bombs? You wouldn't do a bad thing, would you?'

In this passionate and heart-wrenching debut novel by Irish writer Mark Mulholland, we meet Johnny Donnelly — an intense young man who is in love with books, with his country, and with the beautiful Cora Flannery. But in his dark and secret other life he shoots British soldiers: he is an IRA sniper.

How can this be? As his two worlds inevitably move towards a dramatic collision, Johnny takes us on a journey through the history, legends, and landscapes of his beloved Ireland. In the end, Johnny has to make sense of his inheritance and his life, and he does so in a riveting, redemptive, and unforgettable climax.
Told in Johnny's unique voice, and peopled by a cast of extraordinary characters, A Mad and Wonderful Thing tells its tale lightly, but pulls a heavy load. It takes us beyond the charming, familiar, and often funny experiences of everyday life to the forces that bind people together, and that set them against each other — and to the profound consequences of the choices that they make.
'Beneath the passion, wit, and poetry of A Mad and Wonderful Thing is an undertow of tragedy.  This is a world where our moral certainties are challenged, where gentle domesticity and sudden violence disrupt our expectations.'  Robert Gott

 

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781922070876

    February 26, 2014

    Scribe Publications

    288 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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