The Thing About December

The Thing About December

Donal Ryan

First Sentence:     Mother always said January is a lovely month.

Back of the book:

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.

Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.

Quote from the book:

Some things is easy do, when you have no choice in the world but to do them. Like shiteing into a bedpan, in front of a nurse. Or having bits of you felt and examined and talked about by doctors in quare words that don’t sound like normal English. Thinking about it, it seemed as though it was always that way. It’s easy have things happen to you. All you have to do is exist. Making things happen back is the hard thing. Like words: they’re grand to listen to from other people, and when they’re words spoken by the Lovely Voice, they’re like a 99 with a flake in the middle of summer, but it’s fair harder to try to arrange them for yourself. There’s no pleasure in listening to yourself, that’s for sure, only hardship in the knowing of your own stupidity.

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Last Sentence:     And it’s like you were never there.

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