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“A Monk Swimming”

In Literature on October 22, 2008 at 8:16 am

Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, raised in Limerick, Ireland and returned to NYC in his early twenties (and who can blame him?).  The memoir, A Monk Swimming, is full of amusing accounts of McCourt’s life.  After a few years back in the great metropolis, Malachy McCourt had begun to make a name for himself with both appearances on common soap operas and gigs telling stories on late night TV.  An Irish pub opened on 3rd avenue named purposely after Malachy.  It was there that he became a celebrated bartender. He recalls the women who, in the 1950’s, had only recently been permitted to sit at the bar and how they consistently called him “cute”, this being a lingual adjustment, as “cute” means sly and cunning in Ireland.

It is said by the Irish that, “to eat is an accomplishment, to get drunk is a victory.” Malachy’s anecdotes reveal that he took this earthen proverb seriously and through his attachment to the mug a broken relationship between father and son is exposed.

I loved it.  Malachy tells a story like none other.  He is captivating in narrative, which makes it almost torturous to put down.

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