LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Ithaca

by Alan McMonagle

eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Ithaca

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

Liz Robinson

Ithaca Synopsis

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.

MEGA GIVEAWAY! Win a year's worth of reading with our 2019 Star Books!

MEGA GIVEAWAY! Win a year's worth of reading with our 2019 Star Books!

Closing date: 06/12/2019

WE LOVE BOOKS! LoveReading is the UK’s leading book recommendation website. Our mission is to promote a love of books and reading to all by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers to find their next favourite book. We have a panel of editorial experts that select books right across the genres and read the latest releases to keep you fully updated. Their reviews and recommendations make it easy for you to choose the perfect book to read next. Search by author, genre or book title to find the next book for you - and once you are a member, you can sign up to receive regular newsletters and save all the books you want to read or have read to your own digital bookshelf. Membership of the site is free and delivers a helpful range of unique online tools, including 10-15 page opening extracts and listening to samples of audiobooks from specially selected titles. You can also subscribe to our personalised newsletters to help you keep on top of all the new releases while having recommendations tailored just for you. Our Star Books are a selection of our personal favourites from the books we've read each year. The ones that have really stood out from the crowd for us. We always say if you're only going to buy a few books this year, take a look at our Star Books selection. We have a HUGE giveaway for you to really end your year on a high. We're giving you the opportunity to win all the books selected as Star Books this year! That's around 40 books that you can keep for yourself, share with friends and family or give as Christmas gifts. A year's worth of reading and some of our favourite books published this year, for you, for free! What are you waiting for? This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 6th December 2019. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Ithaca Press 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

If you loved this, you might like these...

Dear Edward
Saving Missy
These Our Monsters
The Death of Mungo Blackwell

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781509829842
Publication date: 09/03/2017
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781509829842
Publication date: 9th March 2017
Author: Alan McMonagle
Publisher: Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Alan McMonagle

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 About Alan McMonagle

Share this book