A stunning new novel from the two-time Man Booker shortlisted author of The Secret Scripture
In this highly anticipated new novel, Irishman Jack McNulty is a “temporary gentleman”—an Irishman whose commission in the British army in World War II was never permanent. Sitting in his lodgings in Accra, Ghana, in 1957, he’s writing the story of his life with desperate urgency. He cannot take one step further without examining all the extraordinary events that he has seen. A lifetime of war and world travel—as a soldier in World War II, an engineer, a UN observer—has brought him to this point. But the memory that weighs heaviest on his heart is that of the beautiful Mai Kirwan, and their tempestuous, heartbreaking marriage. Mai was once the great beauty of Sligo, a magnetic yet unstable woman who, after sharing a life with Jack, gradually slipped from his grasp.
Award-winning author Sebastian Barry’s The Temporary Gentleman is the sixth book in his cycle of separate yet interconnected novels that brilliantly reimagine characters from Barry’s own family.
Eric B. says:
"This work encompasses a humanity so profound that it seems to be alive itself. The protagonist, Jack McNulty is a deeply flawed man with a past so varied in experience that reading the book for his history is itself worth the expense of time. Jack is the perpetrator of casual cruelty through dereliction or plain unconsciousness, sometimes nearly simultaneously with acts of deeply moving kindness and expressions of a vast reservoir of love. He is, in other words, a human much like most of us.
Barry’s prose is a comfort to read even when he is recounting some fairly disturbing stuff. I admit to a vigorous prejudice in his favor, but I feel that this bias is justified. His other books dealing with the McNultys and their adventures have been among the finest I have ever read. The reader will likely find that rereading passages simply to experience the beauty of the craftsmanship is common. I recommend any of the author’s books very strongly. See if you don’t agree."