by Michael Curtin




'Dexterous, moving and real, this is a profound tale of loss and that mundane human component, compromise.'

Independent on Sunday

'Comedy and tragedy combine to produce a tale that holds the reader's attention from beginning to end... This is a book to simply enjoy.'

Irish Times

'Curtin is adept at the relaxed banter and quirky interplay of his band of Irish eccentrics... he makes a case for the curative power of optimism and blind tenacity, even in the most hopeless situation.'


'A great sense of black humour and an even better sense of humanity.'

Sunday Tribune

Michael Curtin's fifth novel is as brilliantly plotted as ever with characters of bizarre charm and wisdom. But a seam of tragedy runs just below its surface. It is the tale of a local hero, a man determined to bring joy to the downcast, to teach the world, in spite of everything, to SING.

Toots Books, the alias of James Imbusch, is plagued by an irrepressible friend, Jack Droney. Droney wants the world to sing, so much so that he has written the word upside down on his naked backside in order that he can read it in the mirror with his head between his legs. Should he find himself so. When Droney begins to behave even more oddly than usual however, with the suggestion that he is going to fall very foul of the law, the members of a coffee circle that includes Toots determine to stage an old-fashioned variety concert by way of distraction. To bring him out of himself, to allow him to tell the world to sing.

With a delightfully controlled comic plot and easy banter, Michael Curtin tricks the reader so that the novel's darker purpose almost escapes notice. With this book he fully justifies Roddy Doyle's long-standing support and his reputation as the quiet genius of Irish writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781841156040
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/28/2001
Pages: 207
Product dimensions: 5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael Curtin was born in Limerick in 1942 and is best known for his novel The Plastic Tomato Cutter (Zondervan, 1991), set in his native city. He is also the author of the novels The Self-Made Men (Penguin Books, 1980), The Replay (Sphere Books, 1981), The League Against Christmas (HarperCollins, 1989), The Cove Shivering Club (Zondervan, 1996) and Sing (Zondervan, 2001). The plots of his work tend toward the comic and range from the farcical to the dark and understated.

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