The Dead School

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Dancing On Ice contestant Gemma Collins vows to become Masterchef Gary gives top tips to avoid dry turkey and Christmas Dying neighbour leaves little girl 14 years worth of Christmas presents A family were stunned to receive a Alan Carr confirms offer to star on Strictly Come Dancing next Alan Carr has said he See more of the world in with these top travel Christmas comes early for zoo animals Christmas has come early for some Elderly couple pictured holding hands after being rescued from car crash A husband and wife were pictured Fearne Cotton leaving Celebrity Juice to focus on other Strictly Come Dancing is a popularity contest, says Man caught poaching deer ordered to watch Bambi for a year A poacher has been Brexit threatens Irish potato crop for next year Potato growers are being Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro sues video game creators over Fresh Prince Of Bel Fearne Cotton to leave Celebrity Juice after 10 years of being a That being said the book was very intriguing and it did make me want to find out more and so keep reading.

I thought there would be a comical element with it being Pat Mc Cabe who wrote it but anything funny about it was overshadowed by the depression of it all. I do however feel that it would appeal to a reader of certain age that people who grew up in the time of Malachy would enjoy the nostalgic elements of the book. Jan 06, Rachel d. It kept almost happening.

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Jan 21, Matt Wesolowski rated it it was amazing. This is one of my favourite books of all time. I am yet to read a book that fills me with such a haunting melancholy as this one. Magnificent work by an author whose work has provided unlimited joy to me throughout my life. Dec 16, Dianna Shimizu rated it did not like it. Not the best book I've ever read, unfortunately. Jul 14, Simon rated it really liked it. At times touchingly poetic, accurate, painful, uplifting and very very funny.

But, Jeez, it's a horrible book. McCabe is a true student of twentieth century Irish literature.

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But its an original too. I like books that come from the middle and lower reaches of the heirarchy and tell us something the privileged don't know. A book that knows how to swear as well as how to bless. Like a good country song, it's extraordinari At times touchingly poetic, accurate, painful, uplifting and very very funny.

Like a good country song, it's extraordinarily sad and extraordinarily beautiful in that sadness. And worth four stars of anybody's money.

The Dead School

Malachy Dudgeon's childhood, despite being the victim of bullying from older boys, was initially happy and secure until it changes one day he catches his mum having extra-marital sex with a local man and his dad commits suicide shortly afterwards. Despite this break-up of the family unit he still manages to go to teacher training college and falls in love with a fellow student.

Almost by accident he is hired to work in a Dublin private boys' school. There he comes across Headmaster Raphael Bell. Despite his father being killed as an insurgent by British troops Raphael has an almost idyllic childhood, he has great success as a student before going on to have an equally successful early career as teacher then as Headmaster in boys' schools.

He is scared women but eventually finds love and marries. However Raphael is deeply conservative Catholic and moralistic in his approaches to life and education. In contrast Malachy is much more liberal in his outlook on life which leads to conflict between the two men as he struggles to control the boys in his class. Malachy is struggling under the pressures of being teacher whilst Raphael is struggling to come to terms with the prevailing changes and attitudes ongoing within the Irish education.

When there is a fatal accident with one of the students the fabric of both men's lives is torn to shreds. Despite the exaggerated situations that both men finds themselves in McCabe creates two well-rounded believable main characters and it is relatively easy for the reader to feel some sympathy for them as they struggle with rude, surly students and demanding parents against a backdrop of conflicts between strict standards and flexible, creative learning. All of these issues are touched upon here.

In contrast I found the female characters less believable. Overall an interesting read but not a great one. Jun 25, Lucynell rated it it was amazing Shelves: All I know about art is that it can make the sad beautiful. It makes one feel strong enough to say that this one is even better than The Butcher Boy. The Dead School is rollicking storytelling with a bleak bleak heart, a delicious descent into private hell starting from the young going all the way to the old and missing none of the sights of a fast-changing world which All I know about art is that it can make the sad beautiful.

The Dead School is rollicking storytelling with a bleak bleak heart, a delicious descent into private hell starting from the young going all the way to the old and missing none of the sights of a fast-changing world which include a heroic sense of Irish nationalism, sexual insecurity and many other treats. McGabe's genius is in presenting the machine working these thoughts in a cool natural style.

Like the best of pop music it's fun and deadly serious.


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Oct 07, David rated it liked it. A black comedy with an elevated body count 6, by my reckoning. Underlying layers of past Irish literature peep through. Sep 01, Kasandra rated it really liked it.

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McCabe has the haunting ability to immerse you in interior monologue that deftly describes fits of anxiety, bouts of unbelievable joy, philosophical pondering, suicidality, and madness, all with seeming ease and in a completely believable vernacular. You spend most of your time in this novel inside the head of one of two protagonists, both of them completely drawn and intriguing in nearly opposite ways.

I particularly enjoyed both the humor and the natural self-centeredness in both mens' interna McCabe has the haunting ability to immerse you in interior monologue that deftly describes fits of anxiety, bouts of unbelievable joy, philosophical pondering, suicidality, and madness, all with seeming ease and in a completely believable vernacular. I particularly enjoyed both the humor and the natural self-centeredness in both mens' internalized personal home movies, if you will, but found the treatment of their respective wives to be a bit too similar for comfort.

The men are clearly drawn, but the women are unfortunately not so much and end up falling into stereotypical behavior in nearly all scenes; that's a huge weakness for me and the reason I couldn't give this 5 stars, much as I thought it was masterfully written in all other respects.

Feb 14, P rated it did not like it Shelves: So lousy I am amazed it got published! The contrived plot, the unsympathetic protagonists, the one-dimensional women, the super annoying caricatured Irish tone. What precisely was McCabe's point? Irish women should never be in charge of their own destinies because they will either cheat on their husbands and traumatize their sons, walk out on the guy who will never be able to love again, or have abortions and ruin a school along with the life of its dedicated principal?

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Was this a warning to any So lousy I am amazed it got published! Was this a warning to any man who plans to take up a career in teaching--watch out, it will drive you crazy? Postal service, ok but teaching third grade: Or maybe it was a dirge for a Catholic boy's school filled with Irish nationalism and severe discipline? The author bio says McCabe has a wife and two daughters.

If this novel is an accurate reflection of his views, I feel sorry for them. Dec 31, A. Mary rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the story of two lives, which intersect briefly, and then careen off on their own trajectories. McCabe explores the ways in which a life of effort and duty and uprightness and achievement can suddenly be sideswiped and spin off into outer space. He shows how some shattering event in childhood can lie in wait and become a festering wound in later life.


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  8. The gradual deterioration of both Bell and Dudgeon is too laboured and repetitive by the end, so the conclusion peters to a halt. But this is nevertheless bold and bracing theatre. How was it for you? No rest for the festive workers. How to take on difficult subjects.