Read The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney Online


One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion hasOne messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland's post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland's twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family....

Title : The Glorious Heresies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781444798852
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Glorious Heresies Reviews

  • Paromjit
    2019-02-02 17:18

    A gloriously moving, blackly comic, filthy and vibrant story from the award winning Lisa McInerney set in the rough port city of Cork in Ireland. 15 year old drug dealer Ryan Cusack has no intention of being anything like his violent and alcoholic dad, Tony, and he is mad for Karine, and wonder of wonders, she likes him. There is the unspeakable horror that is the larger than life neighbour. Maureen Phelan is the mother of Jimmy, the king of the criminal underbelly of Cork, and finds herself committing the unintended murder of an unfortunate intruder. The mess created by the dead body needs cleaning up, for which Jimmy plans to hire Tony to help him. The murder sets off a series of consequences that bring mayhem and danger to a number of characters. You cannot have a book set in Ireland without reference to the Catholic Church, there is Georgia, a prostitute who finds religion while McInerney adroitly reveals the hypocrisies of the church. Essentially, this is a colourful tale of sex, drugs, alcohol, crime and religion, and delivered with such panache with its 'in your face' earthy and gritty style.McInerney creates a cracking set of unbelievably complex and charismatic characters, not all are likeable, but you cannot help but find them desperately compelling. This book is not likely to appeal to readers who are easily shocked, but for the rest of us, this is an outstanding, unmissable and wildly irreverent read of a group of people in search of redemption. The beautiful and intense prose, often lyrical, is a real joy. A simply brilliant novel that comes highly recommended! Many thanks to John Murray Press for an ARC.

  • Elyse
    2019-02-16 20:29

    This story caught my interest right away with 15 year old Ryan and a girl who had been in his class for the past three years. Ryan thought Karine D'Arcy was "whip-smart and as beautiful as morning and each time he saw her he felt with dizzying clarity the blood in his veins and the air in his lungs and his heart beating strong in his chest". Karine liked Ryan too....( a little happy shocker to Ryan's 15 year nerves). "She--Jesus--'LIKED' him". When they were at Ryan's house for the first time, Karine notices a piano. "His mam's piano stood by the wall, behind the door. It could just as easily have been his. He put the hours in, while she fought with his dad or threatened great career changes or fought with the neighbors or threaten to gather him and his siblings and stalk back to her parents. She used to pop him onto the piano stool when ever she needed space to indulge her cranky fancies, and in so doing had left him withambidexterity and the ability to read sheet music. Not many people knew that about him, because they'd never have guessed"."He could play for Karine D'Arcy, if he wanted to. Some classical piece he could pretend was more than just a practice exercise, or maybe one of the pop songs his mother had taught him when she was finding sporadic employment with wedding bands and singing and hotel lobbies during shitty little art festivals. It might even work.Karine might be so overwhelmed that she might take all her clothes off and let him fuck her right there on the shitty-room floor"."Something empty about that fantasy, too. The reality is she was here in this house on a Monday lunchtime, and a million zillion years from morphing into a horny stripper.That's what he had to deal with: Karine D'Arcy really-really being here".Maureen Plelan had another problem to 'deal' with. She had just murdered her surprise guest with a Holy Stone. The floor will need scrubbing, ( and someone to clean the floor). The grout will need replacing (heck, she will need a 'new' floor). Well, grandma Maureen may have been strong enough to kill her intruder when her adrenaline was running high, but she needs some help cleaning up her mess). Along comes Jimmy. Jimmy governs the criminal underworld of Cork. So, Jimmy is the guy in charge of his mother's cover-up. And....of course Jimmy isn't going to do the work alone. He hires help. Jimmy's best man for the job is Tony Cusack....( haha...BEST MAN DRUNK). Tony is good for the bottle and violence. A little about 'Cork': Cork is Ireland's second city.....but it is first in every important respect according to the locals. They refer to 'Cork' as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It's a liberal youthful and cosmopolitan place that was badly hit by economic recession but is now busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalized stretches of waterfront and -- seemingly --an artisan coffee bar on every corner". Author Lisa McInerney picked a very hip city to try to dispose a dead body. But....just how 'hip' are the Irish about gangster Jimmy and his buddies? The head on collision keeps on rolling. Or -- at times I got the picture of bumper cars - crash or avoid a crash--- everyone is threat in the underworld of Cork. Ryan is not only in love at age 15...with musical talent...but he's 'dealing' drugs. Most of us just hoped our kids were not using drugs. The funny part is Ryan's 'reason' for being a drug dealer: he doesn't want to become an alcoholic like his father, Tony! Isn't it a 'little' funny how the mind works? The reasoning have a 15-year-old kid? I haven't introduced you to Georgie yet. She's a sex- worker ( nice way of saying prostitute don't ya think?), who joins a religious 'born again' cult. And 'her' reason?[Funny how the mind reasons again] to escape her drug habit. Are you getting the picture yet???? This is not 'only' a book about crime, prostitution, alcoholics, drugs, and sex...and cursing, there is something else going on underneath the underworld. While this book filled with saucy -shameless - fearless - gritty - "glorious" naughtiness.....a deeper moral complex story is spinning around and around...until we realized there there is reason for all this chaos in Cork. The underworlders are trying to repent. I cared about the characters and what happened to them. I cared for their city, too. By the end of the book -I realized this big brassy story felt both dreamlike and realistic. "The Glorious Heresies" is a romp...humorous and intense...grappling with complex how to be true to oneself -and how do we live up to others expectations - and how does our heritage and culture shape who we are. There are many eye opening moments. I thought this was an exceptional unique comic/tragic story. My heart was hurting at times...( I was laughing and feeling sad at the same time). When I got to the last few pages....I was getting more was at this point when I knew - I didn't want to leave these guys yet. I didn't want the book to end. The writing is intoxicating-magnificent. "Every pounded ass, every rough hand grasping blonde extensions, every bitch and whore was a weight on his chest". My heart was often "pounding" too.The intensity and energy in Lisa McInerney's writing throughout is spectacular!!!And....Who knew I could feel mushy about a story that plays out in a criminal underworld?/!!!

  • Zoeytron
    2019-01-31 18:01

    Cold-cocked by an old lady wielding a Holy Stone, a hapless intruder has the temerity to die right there on Maureen's tile floor. What a mess. It will get cleaned up, but not without repercussions that will end up putting lives at risk and in turmoil.Raw, raucous, and raunchy as all get-out. Cretins and slatterns, a mule-headed mob boss, a prostitute who dotes on detective novels with their 'cheesy gasbaggery', and a perfect horrorshow of a neighbor. Full of gritty goodness, this one.

  • Dem
    2019-02-16 21:28

    3.5 StarsThe Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney has left lost for words and my thoughts were all over the place on finishing this novel. This is a story set among the criminal and drug worlds of Cork in Ireland and is certainly not for the feint hearted as it is at times brutal, coarse and hard hitting and yet the writing is brilliant and the humour is Irish to the core.I would never have picked up this novel if it hadn't won the Baileys price for fiction as neither the blurb or the cover appealed to me and I had passed it by on numerous occasions.The story is shocking, funny, dark, gritty, sordid and very brutal in places and yet the writing is brilliant and I found myself laughing out loud, cringing and totally torn on my feelings for this cast of dislikable characters during this novel. I listened to this one on audible and what a fantastic narration it was, as the Cork accent was just perfection and the narrator was amazing and added so much to this book that I am not sure I would have finished a printed copy as the book is quite depressing in places.I don't think I will ever be able to visit Cork again in fear of running into these despicable characters. I cant recommend this book for everyone as some readers may be offended by its content and language and yet Lisa McInerney sure has a way with words and a talent for writing and I can see why she was awarded the 2016 Baileys women's prize for fiction and I will certainly look forward her next offering.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2019-02-10 18:26

    When a strange man breaks into Maureen's home she does the most logical thing and bops him over the head with a religious statue. That makes a bit of a mess so she calls her ganster son Jimmy to clean it up. Thus starts the wheels on this book.Everyone gets involved, either by choice or chance. Ryan, a fifteen year old drug dealer and his abusive, alcoholic father Tony.Georgie, the prostitute that lived with the dead guy. She finds herself hiding out in a cult, pregnant and still missing the guy. She can't stop asking those questions though..The nosey next-door neighbor who loves to stir the pot. And take advantage of any man or boy when she gets the chance. I was totally sucked in by the writing and language. I even expected my husband to speak with an Irish brogue at one point when I was knee deep in the book. So my verdict came up with extremely readable for the nosey in us...But I did feel like at times it drug out and made me want to paint the kitchen.3 stars.Booksource: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for review.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-02-11 16:22

    Find all of my reviews at: to Cork – a quaint little nothing of a town in Ireland ran by local mob boss Jimmy. Cork is also where Jimmy’s birth mother Maureen lives and she’s just had an . . . uhhhhhh unfortunate interaction with an intruder. Luckily Jimmy is a problem-solver and calls on a favor of local drunk Tony. Tony gets more than he bargained for when the “favor” ends up being not only body disposal, but also a body he recognized – fellow boozer and pimp Robbie. All goes smoothly until Robbie’s girlfriend/“employee”/dope fiend comes sniffing around Maureen’s place (which used to be the brothel) hoping someone has seen Robbie because he was also her drug connection. Which brings us to our last main character Ryan – Tony’s 15 year old son who happens to be a real up-and-comer in the drug trade. Find out what happens when all of these worlds collide on the next episode of . . . . Are any of you even old enough to remember Soap???? Probably not. You’ll just have to trust that my little blurb above combined with that joke is fecking brilliant ; )Edward Lorn gets 100% of the credit for me reading this. Even though it had a title that made me go hmmmmmm and a cover that made the reformed Catholic in me want to jump all over, I just didn’t think it would be worth climbing over Mount Library Book anytime soon. Man am I glad I have someone like Ed in my life. We don’t always agree on books, but when I see him really crapping his pants over something I try to pay attention. Especially when he’s ballsy enough to name drop an author like Caroline Kepnes in his review. Normally I hate when books or authors are compared to others, but it’s only because the people who make the comparisons appear to be inbred illiterate hillbillies who think everything is “the next Gone Girl”. That being said, I’m going to make my own comparison: If The Goldfinch was one of your top reads, The Glorious Heresies might be the book for you. Bonus is that it only contains half the pages! Easy E is spot on in his assessment of Lisa McInerney’s ability to develop this ensemble cast – let alone tackling the task of taking a young man through his oh-so-very-unpleasant coming of age. Simply remarkable. As much guff as is presented on the interwebs that “men and women are the same and writers should be able to write the opposite sex” that is simply not true. McInerney has, indeed, done what Kepnes and Tartt have done in the past with these male characters and she should be praised for it. She also should be praised for my current state . . . . This is hands down the best book I’ve read this year. You heard me right, it’s getting top honors when I do my yearly wrap-up. It’d be great if I had some real doozies for quotes I could share in order to show you how brilliant this was, but even though I have a shitton of highlights on my Kindle, they all amount to things like this . . . . “You don’t know your own strength till you need it.”“How do you build a life from bones?”“There was something beautiful here once.”“Nothing cleansing as fire.”As you can see, none of the above means diddly squat unless you read the book. Sooooooo, in order to prove just how serious I am about this being as good as I think it is I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m recommending it to Ron 2.0. For the first time ever I think I’ve found something that can pass his ridiculous™ meter . . . .

  • Adina
    2019-02-20 17:14

    It took me a while to read this novel, a month to be precise. The reason was not the quality of the book but me being in a reading slump. It is true that I went skiing for a week where I did not have too much time to read but this is not my main issue. The recent political problems from my country sucked me dry of any will to do anything else than be in the street and fight against corruption. If you don’t know what I am talking about here is a link from the Economist that explains the situation: Ok, I am done with the politics. Let’s get to the review. I have to thank 21st Century Literature Goodreads group for choosing to read Glorious Heresies as I probably would had never gotten the chance to read it otherwise and that would have been a pity. The first thing that stood out for me was the language since the book contains a big amount of Irish slang. The Oxford English Dictionary on my Kindle proved itself useless so I had to use the Urban Dictionary more than ever. I consider the language a good thing; it is always interesting, although a bit tiring, to discover different types of English. The author chose to set the plot in Cork, Ireland. I was lucky to have visited the city two times already so I could easily imagine the depressing port town while immersing in the world created by Lisa McInerney. Obviously, I only saw the touristy parts and did not cross path with the underworld of the town, which is the subject of this novel. However, after being there, reading about the unseen face of the city does not surprise me too much. The author traces the lives of different members of the port’s underworld and their struggle for redemption. I was surprised when I realized that I was starting to care for Ryan, the 15 years old drug dealer, Maureen, the mother of the town’s drug lord that killed an intruder to her house or for Robbie, a prostitute who tries to find salvation with a Christian cult. The plot is complex but the quality of the writing is what makes the book shine. The author talks about her characters with humor, emphatically and really got me invested emotionally. I admit that it took a while due to my emotional state but I am sure it would have been another story if I had read at another time. Of particular impact to me was her insight into the much too Catholic Ireland and the problems it causes.

  • Hugh
    2019-02-09 18:01

    Vibrant, visceral and violent, this profane tragicomedy takes you deep into the dark heart of Ireland's depressed port city of Cork. On the face of it, this tale of gangsters, prostitutes and addicts with no prospects other than criminality ought to be bleak and depressing, but McInerney is a promising writer capable of brilliantly fiery descriptions, and she really makes you care about her characters enough to make its resolution genuinely moving. She is also fearlessly iconoclastic, unafraid to take telling swipes at the church and its hypocrisies and explore the less palatable elements of Irish society.The narrative is complex, and follows a group of characters who get entangled in the aftermath of a senseless death. I could say more about the characters and the plot, but a bare statement of the plot would not do justice to the quality of the writing. Ireland has a number of terrific young writers, and McInerney is among the best, for a debut novel this is extraordinarily powerful.

  • Edward Lorn
    2019-02-19 22:26

    WINNER OF BOOK THE YEAR 2016!Lisa McInerney joins the ranks of Marisha Pessl and Caroline Kepnes in that she writes men better than most male authors. Every dude in this book is dynamic and interesting. Ryan especially, but we'll get to him more in a minute.I never would have grabbed this book if it wasn't for Crown Publishing sending me a review copy, and that's upsetting. So many terrific novels go unread every year, mainly because I can only read so much. If a book doesn't grab the hype train or get picked up by popular reviewers, they just sit on shelves waiting for people with $25-plus bucks to spare while shopping at the chain stores. And, let's be honest, most of these hyped books don't deserve the reach they get. While THE GIRL WITH THE OBVIOUS SECRET and THE WOMAN ON SOME MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION sell millions, good authors are getting overlooked and have to hope that their next book will do better. Nobody loves a good twist more than myself, but I need there to be some other meaning to a book other than GOTCHA! If that's all you're writing, you might as well co-author a book with James Patterson. Unfortunately, those who juggle themes with common genre tropes tend to go unnoticed, when really, other authors should be watching and taking notes. McInerney manages to mix the thrill of a good noir with the heart and passion of esteemed literary fiction. That's a difficult feat to pull off, considering noir, by definition, is heartless.It pisses me off (yes, probably more than it should) that my feed isn't overflowing with this book. It's a fucking shame how good The Glorious Heresies is and nobody's reading it. You should probably do something about that. I, for one, will be buying whatever Lisa McInerney writes from here on out. The book itself has one of the best couples I've read: Ryan and Karine. Their relationship is not all hearts and moons, and because of that, their love story feels real. There's nothing perfect about them, and that makes them relatable. You'll be screaming at both of them throughout the majority of the book, but that's one of the best parts. Every single character herein is full-fleshed out and three dimensional. It's so refreshing to be able to say that. I think the last book I read that managed that was Hidden Bodies.And, holy shit, what happens to Ryan. Man, that'd fuck anybody up. I can't discuss certain things because of spoilers, but I applaud the author for tackling what happened between Tara Duane and him. Thank you for that. In summation: The Glorious Heresies is not a light read. It is heavy, but it will also make you laugh. McInerney balances character writing and theme perfectly, and never does the love or comedy come off as hokey. My choice for Book of the Year 2016 just got one book harder.Final Judgment: I want everyone to read this.

  • Paula Kalin
    2019-02-07 19:21

    Wow, what a fantastic dark and gritty book about the Irish underworld from Lisa McInerney. Winner of the Bailey's Prize in 2016, the book starts in with an accidental murder that interconnects 5 Irish characters including a 15 year old drug dealer named Ryan, his good for nothing father, a prostitute, and a gangster with a mother named Maureen that does him more harm than good. Hilarious at times, especially Maureen, this intense and energetic book has a terrific plot and great Irish dialogue. I had to go back a few times and listen to the beginning to focus properly. Irish narrator Shelly Atkinson is fabulous! You really need to tune in to get on this ride.I can't wait to read her follow up book which continues Ryan Cusack's story.Highly recommend.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Maxwell
    2019-02-09 16:03

    The Glorious Heresies has traces of A Brief History of Seven Killings and The Casual Vacancy, both of which are novels I enjoyed immensely. And I have to say that while this one was particularly dark, it has a hopefulness and humor to it that made it compulsively readable. I finished it off in two days time, and I think it's one that definitely warrants reading in large chunks. McInerney manages to weave together many characters' storylines into a novel that pushes the boundaries and plays as social commentary. There is a lot to unpack here, and I'll, no doubt, be thinking about it for a while. Since it does deal with the criminal underworld of Cork, Ireland this is definitely not a novel for the faint-hearted and is reading 'mature' for sure.

  • Ɗắɳ2.☊
    2019-02-18 14:09

    ★★★☆☆½Upon completing this book a few weeks ago, I posted a rather misleading teaser suggesting that I’d either loved it or hated it. You see, way back when all those 2016 year-end reviews started rolling out, this was chosen by a couple of my friends as their, “Book of the Year.” Sadly, for me though, this fell squarely into that dreaded middle ground once again. <-- Story of my life. As promised, there was nothing too ridiculous™ within the tale itself. Everything was grounded in reality and felt very true to life, yet there was also nothing which propelled the novel to those lofty 5 star heights. The narrative follows a diverse group of broken and damaged individuals living on the fringes of society—told through multiple points of view. We follow Jimmy, a mob boss who’s forced to clean up a few of his estranged mammie’s minor messes—like murder (oops!) or multiple arsons (whoopsie daisy!). We tag along with a teenager named Ryan. Whose coming of age story includes all those classic Hallmark moments such as slinging dope, being physically assaulted by an alcoholic father, driven out of his house through fear and intimidation, taken advantage of by his creepy, meddling neighbor, and a brief stint in a juvenile detention center. Yet through it all he still manages to find an amazing girlfriend (bully for you, kid). Then lastly, we shadow Georgie, a young prostitute and coke fiend, as she tries to pull her life out of the gutter. Looming over all the characters and directly or indirectly affecting all their lives is the Catholic Church. Ryan’s coming of age may have been the main storyline, but, for me, Jimmy’s mother Maureen was the heart and soul of the novel. Her plight is the city of Cork’s plight. Her story was essentially a condemnation of the Catholic Church—a vilification of its practices in dealing with teenaged pregnancies. Much of her actions throughout the story felt like a desperate plea to the Church begging them to acknowledge her. Acknowledge the havoc they’ve wrecked within their communities. She’s like a battered and abused child lashing out at her parents, but no matter how many tantrums she throws they pay her no heed. Apparently, the unforgivable sin of separating a mother from her child can easily be reasoned away when you’re doing the Lord’s work. It’s of vital importance to ensure that a child cleaves to his church—the key is to get ‘em while they’re young and impressionable. “The church craves power above all things, power above all of the living. The Church has an ideal and it’ll raze all in its way to achieve it. The Church needs its blind devout. Your mother, my mother, the people in there plumping Father Fiddler’s ego, they’re all for it. They’ve been given a class and they’re clutching it. The Church creates its sinners so it has something to save. Your mother’s a Magdalene for her Christ.” . . . “Look at him,” spat Maureen. “Look close. Handing out indoctrination, keeping them faithful, keeping them hooked.”The Church is the ultimate drug lord. It’s everlasting—hewn from rock, while the city around it is built from twigs. What’s a few broken families or the entire city for that matter when compared to the importance of the Church?There was a lot more going on here obviously, but that was the most fascinating storyline for me. I, personally, would have loved to delve a little deeper into the criminal underground. But Jimmy was only a minor character. Like many a great horror story, that evil was kept mostly off the page, ever lurking in the shadows. However, much like Church itself, Jimmy looms over all. This book was doubling challenging for me. Not only does it skirt a little too close to literary fiction for my shaved ape sensibilities, but it’s also chock-full of Irish slang. After reading this, I feel as though I have a much better gauge on what other cultures experience when tackling some of my favorite Hick Lit tales. #thestruggleisreal Also, the interconnectedness of all the characters felt a bit forced and overly coincidental at times. Now I'm left with a bit of a conundrum here because, although I didn’t care for much of storyline, I can’t point out too many shortcomings. Plus, all of the characters were nicely fleshed out. In particular, I really appreciated all the nuance and depth of Ryan’s relationship with his father. There was a great redemptive arc through that which helped to counterbalance some of the countless tragedies. The writing was superb and often darkly comedic, but, sadly, I wasn’t all that captivated by the plot, and, although the slang may lend the narrative an authentic voice, it also makes it a more challenging read for those of us across the pond. So let’s call it a 3½ star read, and I’ll round up on merit alone.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-01-27 21:13

    This novel won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction this year (2016,) the only title from the list I hadn't been able to get my hands on (it figures!) This is the story of a very modern Ireland, with drug dealers and prostitutes. But in the context of post-Catholic, or maybe just over-Catholic Ireland, there is interesting commentary throughout on the effect of grouping some people into a "sinner" group, where they have to give up their children or go to jail or leave their community. And how those kinds of instances can veer someone off of a path and into a life where they are surviving in any way they can. It was gritty but most of the characters seemed pretty nuanced, and memorable. The story jumps around in time a bit, which was a little bit of a struggle to follow in the audio, but it does give them a chance to show where their early decisions put them in the end.Shelley Atkinson does a good job in the reading, although since half the characters are male, I was left wishing for a bit more depth in their voices. Not really possible with a female reader! The Irish accent was present but not in the way.So would I have given this the Baileys Women's Prize? I definitely think it belongs in the top three for me, alongside A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Ruby by Cynthia Bond. Interestingly all three deal with trauma, and two are very heaped in realism. If this is the trend for "women's" fiction, bring it on.I received an early copy of this from Random House Audio in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emma
    2019-02-05 20:13

    If you're looking for gritty realism, Lisa Mcinnerney will provide. The five main characters in the novel are a combination of 'what I have to do to live' and 'f*** the world, i'm taking what I want'. Their lives are violent, depressing, and formed along lines that nobody seems able to escape. There's a touch of brilliance in her writing, but it's a hard read. Some have named it a comedy, but, for me, it's far too dark for that, more tragic than anything else. It made me feel claustrophobic, trapped within the tight confines of a story that offered little hope. I didn't enjoy it, but that doesn't mean I didn't find the reading of it worthwhile. Stylistically, the last part seemed somewhat stretched, perhaps a little longer than it needed to be. Otherwise, the author's talent is clear, even if the subject matter means I wouldn't rush to read another. Many thanks to Lisa McInerney, John Murray Press, and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Trudie
    2019-02-22 17:19

    It is fair to say I admired this Baileys Womans Prize for fiction winner - but didn't completely enjoy it. I had doubts that insidiously creeped in about the halfway mark ...This is in no way a critique of the marvellous writing but more a product of the fact the story depressed me. It must be a good writer who can make me laugh out loud and yet still make me feel absolutely wrung-out and desolate at where the story went and what we went through to get there. The first really enjoyable aspect of this novel was the language - its not quite as impenetrable as Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting but it certainly took a good 40 pages to get the rhythm of the writing and decode some of the Cork dialect. I did pick up some choice sayings I hope to apply in everyday parlance -ould wanand abog wispshould come in useful. The second outstanding aspect was the extraordinarily complex and nuanced characters. Ultimately the evolution of teenaged Ryan interested me and upset me the most. I think probably because McInerney has portrayed a kind social realism in these pages that is so grim, so seemingly impossible to navigate out from under that I found myself often crushed at the life choices made and opportunities squandered. The occasional Irish humour is a welcome bright spot of levity here. True immersion in this book was hampered for me by the complexities of navigating many characters with multiple- shifting narratives and very scant indicators of timeframe. There are many frustrating moments of deciding who is narrating, of where we are in the story and deciding how it all fits. I don't always find this technique that charming or conducive to flow. However my biggest nagging doubt was the driving force of the plot - a murder seemingly so inconsequential, and random that the cascade of events that followed and all the little ties between characters seemed strained to me. I understand the the high praise for this novel, it has such a strong Irish voice and I learnt so much about post economic boom Ireland, the magdalene laundries, alcohol and drug addiction, prostitution, the sex lives of the modern teenager - most of it heartbreaking. I just wish the novel as a whole worked more seamlessly and that these great characters were united around a story that made more sense to me ...Despite all this I recommend it and do think McInerney might be an author to watch.

  • Viv JM
    2019-02-11 20:30

    I am so glad that this book won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction because I don't think I ever would have picked it up otherwise and I LOVED IT!! The story starts with an accidental murder and follows the story of the people whose lives are affected. The characters in this book are a cross section from the criminal underbelly of Cork - drug dealers, prostitutes, gangsters and the like. McInerney writes about their lives with compassion, humanity and humour, and her writing is absolutely razor sharp. I listened to the audiobook of this, narrated by Shelley Atkinson, and would thoroughly recommend it. I loved listening to her lilting Irish accent, and I felt it really helped me immerse myself in the setting. My favourite book of 2016 so far.

  • Chadwick
    2019-02-15 21:04

    In a word . . . glorious. (And heretical.)Lisa McInerney’s story of interconnected Irish lives over five years in the underbelly and criminal world of Cork isn’t merely a fine and clever debut novel, it’s one of the best novels I’ve read this year. This is dark, hilarious, and heartfelt stuff.There’s something in her voice that reminds me of Roddy Doyle at his Barrytown best. There’s the obvious Irishness they share, of course, but it’s more than that: it’s their ability to create a fully realized fictional community populated by honest, complex characters whose lives swirl around each other in everyday and eventful ways. We see friends, enemies, drinking companions, criminals, neighbors, and family members – all finding their way in the same world together, stuck with each other for better and for worse. And, like Doyle, McInerney also has a gift for writing wry, pitch-perfect dialogue. But for all the tenderness and warmth she portrays her characters with, there’s no sentimentality. These are characters who have been profoundly damaged and who live very tough lives. And yet we can’t help caring about them, warts and all. There are no false notes or easy compromises. We’re kept constantly off balance and, like the characters themselves, we’re never quite sure where their lives are headed.It’s no easy thing to create multi-dimensional, real characters who are alternately smart and stupid, tough and soft, impatient and relaxed, stubborn and forgiving, and so on. But what I really like is that her other characters see each other differently at different times. And that’s real life, right? We’re not the same person in every situation over time. Others view us differently. We change, grow, regress, make mistakes, get things right. This, to me, is absolutely essential to good fiction, and McInerney gets it just right. Consider Tony, an alcoholic and unemployed widower who abuses his oldest son. Yes, we see him enraged and violent, but we also see him as a tender and loving father who manifestly cares for his children and mourns his dead wife. Sometimes he’s a criminal, but he mostly wants to do the right thing. I love this passage, which gets at some of that complexity (and also shows just how funny McInerney often is):“An effervescent liar from the phone company had sold Tony a broadband subscription, which had had the effect of lobotomizing his three teenagers and giving him the cold comfort of meditative silence. Once a week Kelly commandeered the laptop and went through the jobs website with her father, and between them they figured out which posts were worth procuring rejection letters from. Sometimes he got an email back that thanked him for his efforts but denied the existence of suitable positions. When he was so blessed he showed them to his probation officer. The job hunt was going well.”The novel isn’t perfect and it’s not without faults (the coincidences of the characters’ interwoven encounters can seem a bit much at times; some loose ends are left hanging; we’re teased with some things that are never fully developed). But never mind that. This is confident, beautifully crafted fiction. I can’t wait to see what the author does next. . . .(Thanks to Crown/Tim Duggan Books for an advance copy via a giveaway. Receiving a free copy did not affect the content of my review.)

  • Rachel
    2019-02-05 14:25

    I hold onto her and tell her I love her and tell her I'll do anything she wants me to do but beyond my words and her weight in my arms there's the knowing we fucked this up. There was something beautiful here once.This is one of the most hard-hitting and thematically rich books I've read in a long time. There's so much to unpack here, I'm not quite sure where to begin. The Glorious Heresies centers around five characters: fifteen-year-old drug dealer Ryan and his alcoholic father Tony, grandmother Maureen and her gangster son Jimmy, and a prostitute named Georgie. The way these characters relate to one another is complicated, tangled. They weave in and out of each other's lives, implicitly connected by a single act that occurs in the first chapter: Maureen discovers an intruder in her home, and, startled, she hits him over the head, killing him. The consequences of this unplanned murder unfold over the course of the novel, which spans several years, in the city of Cork.Lisa McInerney's debut novel is an unflinching examination of the cycle of poverty that drives crime in modern day Ireland. This book not only explores the complex web of social dynamics that breeds crime and corruption, but pays particular attention to the way this is manifested across generations. Is someone truly responsible for the way they raise their children, if they too were a victim of society's moral and structural failings? Where and how does the cycle end? These are the questions McInerney raises while examining this group of broken individuals living on the fringes of society. Crime and religion are so heavily intertwined in these pages it's hard to know where one ends and the other begins, as McInerney fearlessly dissects these themes as thoroughly as possible in this not-quite-400 page novel. The Glorious Heresies is bleak and profane and at times quite depressing. But it's also darkly comedic and hopeful. McInerney's intelligent prose is laced with Irish slang that makes this a visceral and immersive reading experience, in a novel which is layered with complex characters who are each in their own way seeking retribution. It's honestly one of the most striking things I've read in a while. I know I won't stop thinking about this any time soon.Thank you Blogging for Books and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • John Braine
    2019-01-25 21:16

    I had this on pre-order for months and I was really looking forward to it. It was well worth the eager awaiting. It’s set in the arse end of a Cork City which the Celtic Tiger shat all over before it scarpered. Though it starts with a murder, it’s no whodunnit. What’s it’s really about is how the characters deal with the small and large ways the murder impacts their lives. And that’s the strength of this book; they’re rich, believably flawed characters.There’s Ryan who’s a smart kid but a bit of a dosser. His coming-of-age is the anchor of the story. His dad Tony, is a bit of a waster; he loves his kids but makes no real effort to be a good father. Jimmy, a proper gangster has his thumb firmly over everyone else, and then there’s his mother Maureen who pops in and out of the story. She’s a great character; a little bit mad, but world-wise and full of charming self-made superstition, the best kind. There’s also a nosy neighbour with a penchant for teenage boys. And a girl stuck in a loop of self-medication to get through one more bout of prostitution which she needs to continue to pay for the habit she’s got through self-medication.Every character in this book could have been very cliched in lesser hands. But these are as close to the real deal as you get in fiction. Though some people do very bad things, there’s no inherently good guys or bad guys.It’s really about a bunch of people trying to figure who they are and what they need to do to survive, and the effects those decisions have on all those around them.

  • Jill
    2019-01-23 14:18

    I did not expect to like this book so much, but for me it's a 5 star read!It's full of black humor which made the dark subject matter & bleakness easier to read. Maureen especially made me laugh, even though she clearly has some issues to work through. She believes in "no authority but the holy trinity - the priest, the nuns and the neighbors" and "She didn't know the ins & outs of inebriation outside of being able to diagnose every stage of drunkenness as dictated by her nationality". There is certainly a lot of drinking, drugs & poverty in the book, but by the end I felt it was a story of redemption more than anything else. I'm a bit worried, however, for Ryan now that Maureen told him she wants to "put you right". That sounds dangerous given what we now know about Maureen. :)

  • Lisa
    2019-02-07 19:11

    Do not read this book expecting happy thoughts. It's dark and sad and gritty.It's well written and the flow of the book is helped along by the links between the characters. It's the sense of inevitability throughout that keeps the tone sombre despite some gallant attempts at humour - can these people possibly be 'saved'? And what exactly would that mean? Lots to think about here.

  • Fran
    2019-02-03 20:10

    Born into an unforgiving chaotic world in Cork, Ireland, it is a struggle to rise above one's devastating roots. Such is the case in The Glorious Heresies. The lives of the principal characters are thoroughly fleshed out and one can understand the trials and tribulations contributing to their deviant behavior.The intense narrative changes voices frequently so you must stay on your toes to totally absorb this story. The character of Ryan Cusack is especially sympathetic; so much potential, so very damaged.Lisa McInery has written a gritty tome featuring drug dealers , drug users, prostitution, and resultant criminal activity. The darkness and shadiness will stay with you long after the ending of the book. A well crafted, thought provoking read..Thank you Crown Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Glorious Heresies.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-09 17:07

    I received this book for free through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers.This isn’t a book that I would typically read, however, I did find it to be very interesting and fascinating. This isn’t a happy book. There’s organized crime, drug dealing, murder, and prostitution. I really liked how the author weaved all the character’s stories together. Everyone was connected to each other. The author’s writing was also very engaging; she really is a talented writer. Overall, this book wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I still enjoyed it.

  • Louise O'Neill
    2019-01-29 18:18

    So while I was on retreat I read this novel. The title is correct. It is a bloody glorious book. It goes from hilariously funny to devastating, and the writing is so deft and skilful it's almost breathtaking. A confident and assured debut. Lisa McInerney has talent to burn. I can't wait to see what she does next.

  • Paul Fulcher
    2019-02-02 22:01

    The bint had only gone and killed someone. He supposed it was an appropriate carry-on for the block he was chipped from, but it didn't make it any less of an arseache. Jimmy liked to leave himself room for manoeuvre in his diary but 'Clean up after your mother offs someone' was a much more significant task that he'd have thought to factor in.The freshest and most interesting voices English literature at present originate from Ireland (or the diaspora) and this is reflected in (most *) literary awards - e.g. Mike McCormack (Goldsmiths 2016), Kevin Barry (Impac 2013 and Goldsmiths 2015), Eimear McBride (Goldsmiths 2013, Baileys 2015), Anakana Schofield (shortlisted Goldsmiths 2016 & Giller 2015), the more established Sebastian Barry (Costa 2016), as well as Emma Donoghue, Eileen Battersby and Maggie O'Farrell (Costa 2010 and shortlisted 2016). (* that this year's Booker longlist had no Irish writers reflects on the prize, not the quality of Irish literature)To that list can be added Lisa McInerney, with this wonderful debut novel that took the 2016 Baileys Prize.The City of Cork itself is an important character in the novel. Lisa McInerney first made her name writing a blog set in Cork "The Arse end of Ireland". Kevin Barry, namechecked by McInerney in her acknowledgements wrote a piece on Cork in Granta in April 2016, which explains the setting well:It was a city of hot, verminous slums and romance by dusk-light along the quays, the girls using their long black shawls to wrap their lovers tightly against them – on the Coal Quay the girls wore purple stockings and caps with golden tassels, the bright colours a rebellion against the city’s natural hues, which Ó Faoláin caught so perfectly as ‘the raingod’s green, dark as passion, and this pallid immensity of sky’. It was a dark, damp valley, a miasma, but also it had steel at its heart, and sometimes enough to gleam.This is post-financial crisis Ireland, but a part of Ireland that the Celtic Tiger economy passed by in any case:Tony Cusack's terrace was only one of dozens flung out in a lattice of reluctant socialism. There was always some brat lighting bonfires on the green, or a lout with a belly out to next Friday being drunkenly ejected from home (with a measure of screaming fishwife fucked in for good luck), or squad cars or teenage squeals or gibbering dogs.At the novel's start Maureen Phelan, mother of Jimmy, a local gangster, kills an intruder into her house (former site of one of Jimmy's brothels) Robbie o'Donovan, boyfriend of Georgie Fitzsimmons, a call girl who worked there. Jimmy calls in an old acquaintance Tony Cusack to clean up the mess, only to find that matters are made worse, and that the lives of others, notably Tony's 15 year-old son Ryan, a small-time dealer, and their neighbour Tara Duane, become entangled in the mess. Towards the novel's end, Jimmy realises: Five damned years he'd been taming this cock-up.The novel is both bleak but blackly humourous:He was close to paraxoyms. 'Oh, come on Tara. I work at a conveyor belt of deviants and I know for a fact you failed quality control. The man knocked in your window because you've been playing Hide the Underage Sausage.'violent but genuinely moving, and the prose at times lyrical. This from Georgie, 'small-town wild-child and intermittent claustrophobic, self-styled', who has taken temporary refuge in a Christian mission shelter, set the other side of a lake from Cork:Georgie had made a habit out of coming down to the water for breakfast. In the great expanse of hill and sky, it stayed early for longer. Back in the city there was traffic and torment from dawn. Out here, so long as the air held that chill, the limbo between then and now stretched as far as she needed.She sat on a flat rock by the water's edge and closed her eyes to the milky-blue sky and the breeze that coaxed tresses onto her cheeks and over her lashes. The birds could be raucous near the water, but this morning their song was spiralling light. Beyond that, nothing. Later, when duties began, there'd be car engines and noises of cooperation as people grouped off to deny the devil idle hands. Highly recommended.

  • Bill
    2019-01-29 18:02

    If Cork noir was a thing (and it may well be) this would be Cork noir at its finest."We're all gods when we fucking feel like it."A brilliantly dark and funny tale with a small cast of expertly drawn and developed characters.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-07 15:10

    2 ½-stars, really.when you read the description for this book, almost immediately the word 'messy' appears. yup. this is a messy book - these characters are so broken and their lives so chaotic. and while i was reading, i truly felt the mess spilling over into my reading experience. (if that makes sense?) the book is also described as being 'darkly funny'. humour is such a subjective thing, and i find it particularly so in reading. sometimes humour doesn't translate so well on the written page. though my own sense of humour is odd and ridiculous at times, i didn't find much funny in this story. i appreciated mcinerney's writing very much - she's a visceral storyteller and well captured this slice of cork, ireland. it was all just so fraught, though, and i found the ending fairly weak. the cast of characters was good, but some of them could have used a bit more development or depth.i am reading through the 2016 baileys women's prize for fiction longlist, and the glorious heresies is an interesting choice. i'm not sure if my anticipation, my mood, or the book being included on the women's prize shortlist affected my experience, but i've been left feeling a bit disappointed. i can see this book working well as a film adaptation - it actually might work as a better medium for this story since it felt so visual and active to me as i was reading.

  • Faith
    2019-02-07 15:27

    Even when I didn't understand the Irish slang, which was often, the language of this book seemed musical. This was a compelling book - funny, gritty, tragic, despairing and hopeful. The action is set in motion when Maureen Phelan accidentally kills an intruder and her gangster son Jimmy chooses to dispose of the body to protect his mother. "Clean up after your mother offs someone was a much more significant task than he'd ever have thought to factor in". In retrospect, Jimmy should probably never have brought his mother to live in Ireland. The author had a very clever way of entwining the various characters of this book including Maureen, Jimmy, a teenaged drug dealer, his girlfriend, a prostitute and an alcoholic father. It was Ryan the sensitive drug dealer who was the most touching character. However, each of the characters was realistically both good and bad, just trying to get by under circumstances they couldn't seem to escape. I liked this book a lot and would be happy to read anything else the author writes. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  • Kasa Cotugno
    2019-02-19 22:11

    "The parents cast the mould for the little ones, and the little ones curved to fit." This, in a nutshell, is the theme of this amazing novel from a young Irish author. This is really a microcosm of the Irish underbelly in, of all cities, Cork. I was reminded of the Seattle depicted in the series The Killing since both are cities on water, of similar size, and both enjoy a public reputation as tourist destinations. But that is far from the seedy portrait depicted here, a world of gangsters and prostitutes and people scraping by on the fringes. It really began 40 years ago when unmarried pregnant girls were shipped off to the horrors of the Magdalene Laundries. Maureen was 19 when she gave birth to J P, and was thenceforth shipped off again, this time to London for 40 years, her son rising in notorious prominence to be the kingpin of Cork's crime world. When the book begins, Maureen finds herself back in Cork, being put up in one of her son's former brothels, and she is standing with a religious artifact in her hand which she has used to bash in the head of an intruder. The book rises out of this messy murder with at least 6 people's lives changed forever. Each character holds his or her own. The language is almost poetic in its brutality at times. McInerney is another of the amazing women writers coming out of Ireland these days, authors who don't write about the Ireland of shamrocks and pubs. It's no wonder that this book has won prestigious prizes already.

  • Quirkyreader
    2019-02-12 15:16

    I just finished the ARC that I received from Penguin. In some respects this story is an instant classic. McInerney is Ireland's answer it Scotland's Irvine Welsh. I kept wondering what it would be like if all the characters hung out together. What drug and booze filled adventures would happen.McInerney just won the Baileys prize for fiction and did she ever deserve it. When books blow me away they turn me sideways and this one definitely did.