TELL DUBLIN I MISS HER by Dominic Behan

TELL DUBLIN I MISS HER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Ah, well, there's a lot of Irish laughter here an' yeh may find it a bit overpowerin'. Still, it's a grand book about Dominic Behan's childhood in the slums of Dublin (he's Brendan's brother, yeh know). In Russell Street, yeh couldn't but know your neighbors. There was Lizzie McHugh who made the grave cloths, and poor Mrs. Clancy slinking off to the ""pawn"" when she hasn't the money for supper; there was ""oul Cruck"" the hunchback, playing his gramaphone to everyone's envy and annoyance, and Mrs. Carroll the coalman, whom everyone resolutely refused to think of as a woman. But there's more to it than that -- more than odd vignettes about odd characters. For, with the all-knowing eyes of childhood, young Dominic recreates the poverty and the intimacy of the slums -- of his da looking for work, and his ma determined to pay the man from the Pru whatever comes, so at least she'll have a nice funeral. And what a nice funeral it is when his granny does die, though its not so nice as later on, when his other granny (and a couple of aunts) gets a jail sentence for the cause of Ireland, just as his father did in the twenties, and as brother Brendan was to do afterwards. A militant but apologetic nationalism pervades the book -- leaving the outsider enlightened but puzzled.

Publisher: Putnam