Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

books of the month
Search our site
The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton Read the opening extract of the brand new Fern Britton book before its publication on 01/02/2018

Ithaca by Alan McMonagle
  

Ithaca

Literary Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   Family Drama   Relationship Stories   The Desmond Elliott Prize   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

The Desmond Elliott Longlist 2017Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017.

Provocative, sharply witty and rather beautiful, Ithaca is a breathtaking read. 11 year old Jason, full of attitude and bravado seeks to escape the here and now of the world around him. The first sentence, paragraph, then chapter, roared into my mind, Jason tells his own story, his personality doesn't just light up the page, it sets fire to it. All of the characters teeter on the edge of being larger than life, Alan McMonagle fills them full of vivid colour, and zips the bulging seams tight. Words ganged up into one swaggering rioting mass and assaulted my senses. While laughing my soul weeped, while sitting in shock my fist pumped the air, I wanted to hug Jason tight, and as a piece of my heart broke apart, I handed it to him. ‘Ithaca’ filled me full of contrary feelings then gave them a good shake, what a wonderful, heart-breaking, mesmerising read this is. ~ Liz Robinson

Win a year of Muriel Spark...!

Win a year of Muriel Spark...Marking her centenary, you could win all 22 novels in collectable, hardback editions published by Polygon, each complete with an Introduction from a leading writer PLUS a copy of the warm and humorous memoir of Alan Taylor’s friendship with Spark. These novels are published with the support of Creative Scotland and The Muriel Spark Society.

The winner will receive the copies as they are published during 2018. The initial package is likely to include: The Comforters, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Memento Mori, Robinson, A Far Cry From Kensington, The Bachelors, The Girls of Slender Means, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the memoir by Alan taylor Appointment in Arezzo.

The value of competition is over £220.00!

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 28 January 2018. The winner will be announced on the centenary of her birth, 1 February 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/01/2018

Synopsis

Ithaca by Alan McMonagle

Ithaca, the ferociously funny and unbelievably poignant debut novel from Alan McMonagle, combines a fiercely emotional story with crackling prose. This was the summer after all the money disappeared. One minute it was here. The next it had vanished. All of it. Without trace ...Now that all the money had vanished everyone had their eyes and ears ready for all manner of doom. Summer 2009, and eleven-year-old Jason Lowry is preoccupied with thoughts of the Da he has never known. In the meantime, his vodka-swilling, swings-from-the-hip Ma is busy entertaining her latest boyfriend and indulging her fondness for joyriding. Jason escapes to the Swamp: a mysteriously rising pool of fetid water on the outskirts of the town. There, he meets the girl, a being as lost as himself, and with even less regard for reality. Together, they conjure exotic adventures - from ancient Egypt to the search for Ithaca, home of Odysseus. But what begin as innocent flights of fancy soon become forays into hazardous territory; the girl is a dangerous (and very committed) partner in crime.

Reviews

'Ithaca more than confirms the promise shown by Alan McMonagle in his first book of short stories, Psychotic Episodes. He possesses a style that is all his own and I found his first novel compelling from start to finish. Read it.' -- Patrick McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy

'Fast and urgent and full of feeling and savage humour and all kinds of tenderness.' -- Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane

'Strange and wondrous; savage with vision, leaping with wit and moving in ways that are quite impossible to shake off, Alan McMonagle's Ithaca is a stunner. A quest story with the wisdom of an epic and with the whip-smart energy of a brilliantly fresh and audacious new voice.' -- Belinda McKeon, author of Solace, winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize

'Flawless prose and razor dialogue ... Mesmerising, unforgettable.' -- Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart

'It's a stunner.' -- Edna O'Brien

'Splendid ... Sweet yet dark, odd yet true. Full of fierce, elegant, misguided longing, and so finely written that I came to care so much about Jason.' -- Sara Baume

'Right from its remarkable opening sentence, this extraordinary debut had me hooked. A fierce, funny, on-its-own-terms, beautiful, heartbreaker of a novel.' -- Joseph O'Connor

About the Author

Alan McMonagle has written for radio, published two collections of short stories - both of which were nominated for the Frank O'Connor Award - and contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America. He lives in Galway. Ithaca is his first novel.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

9th March 2017

Author

Alan McMonagle

More books by Alan McMonagle
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Format

Hardback
320 pages
Interest Age: From 18 years

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Family Drama
Relationship Stories
The Desmond Elliott Prize
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781509829842

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

With literary excellence, humour and drama, Lovereading's got value and is a real stress-calmer!

Siobhan McDowell

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.

Lynda

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools