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From The CriticsBy the time it was finished, this book passed through the hands of fifteen Irish authors, including Roddy Doyle and Frank McCourt, each of whom donated one chapter to the story. A generous amount of credit must be given to editor Joseph O'Connor, who manages to keep things cohesive throughout. The book, textured with an array of voices, styles and senses of humor, follows the illicit journey of a manuscript by the great patriarch of modern Irish fiction, James Joyce. Where the manuscript goes, plentiful doses of both violence and comedy follow. Roddy Doyle's brilliant opening chapter sets the pace—but not necessarily the tone—for those who follow. Along the way, Gene Kerrigan, Tom Humphries, Gina Moxley and Donal O'Kelly add twists to the plot. Almost all the chapters are turbulent, and most of the writers take ample license in introducing new characters and fortifying old ones with remarkable, slapstick indiscretion. Somehow the central plot line smoothly advances from section to section (despite the ridiculous body count), and Frank McCourt's closing chapter elegantly ties most of the story together.