Dominic Behan's bottle book uncorks the same Dionysian spirit as Brendan's Confessions of An Irish Rebel (see p. 153). Much...

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MY BROTHER BRENDAN

Dominic Behan's bottle book uncorks the same Dionysian spirit as Brendan's Confessions of An Irish Rebel (see p. 153). Much of the story is reconstructed from Brendan's own lips, and nearly all is personal observation. Dominic's portrait of Brendan is more savagely graphic and uninhibited, covers some of the same incidents, fills in the missing parents, and carries the reader nine years farther to Brendan's funeral. He writes with as much love as his irascible, scathing brother will allow him from the grave. Five years younger, Dominic was Brendan's constant butt of vilification, every word of which is unmaliciously recorded here. The deepest success is Dominic's acute ability to reproduce Brendan's voice during marathon monologues. Some of the longer incidents tend to blur and change locale without warning, but considering the flood of grog consumed this may be an artistic device. The sadness of Brendan's decay at the peak of success, his diabetic fugues and mental deterioration, is memorably evoked. Sometimes blisteringly Irish, Dominic's portrait is a robust companion for the Confessions.

Pub Date: March 17, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966