Novels Brendan O'Carroll The Mammy

ISBN 13: 9780862786410

The Mammy

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9780862786410: The Mammy

This is the first book in the "Agnes Browne" trilogy. It is now a film starring Anjelica Huston and Tom Jones. 'And what was the cause of death?' 'A Hunter', Agnes said. 'Was he shot', the girl asked incredulously, 'was your husband shot?' 'By who?' Agnes asked this question as if the girl had found out something about her husband's death that she didn't know herself. Then a look of realisation came into her face. 'No! A Hillman Hunter, he was knocked down by a Hillman Hunter!' Agnes Browne is a widow of only a few hours when she goes to the Social Welfare Office. Living in James Larkin Flats, with Redsers' legacy - seven little Brownes - to support on the income from her Moore Street stall, she can't afford to miss a day's pension. Life is like that for Agnes and her best pal Marion. But they still have time for a laugh and a jar, and Agnes even has a dream - that one day she will dance with Cliff Richard. "The Mammy" describes the life and times, the joys and sorrows of Agnes, mother of the famous Mrs. Browne's Boys from the daily radio soap. A book of hilarious incidents, glorious characters, and a passion for life, it is written with a sure touch and great ear for dialogue.

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Review:

It seems like there's no end to Irish tales depicting unhappy, squalid childhoods in crowded, working-class flats. While Brendan O'Carroll's The Mammy maintains many elements of the traditional genre--the saintly, overworked mother, the Catholic family with an enormous posse of children and any number of abusive alcoholic fathers--it's a somewhat cheerier vision of Irish youth than we've come to expect. The mammy in question, one Agnes Browne, has enough spunk to look after her brood of seven, run a fruit stand at the local open market, gossip viciously with her best friend Marion, and still daydream about dancing with a famous singer.

This is in large part due to the fact that her husband, Redser, who falls squarely into the above-mentioned category, has died--thanks to a careless driver--just before the novel's opening pages. Our first glimpse of the pragmatic, lovable Agnes comes as she's waiting in the social services office on the afternoon of his death, determined not to lose a penny of her widow's benefits as a result of dilly-dallying. She doesn't even have the necessary death certificate yet, but that's not nearly enough to slow down Agnes Brown: "No, love, he's definitely dead. Definitely," she says to the clerk, then, turning to her friend for backup, "Isn't he, Marion?" Marion, made from the same tough stock, agrees solemnly: "Absolutely. I know him years, and I've never seen him look so bad. Dead, definitely dead!" The scene is emblematic: Agnes knows how to fight, and she isn't afraid to do it. Her deadpan humor becomes a hallmark.

As for her children, they get into the usual trouble--fights, girl problems, and the like. But there are also some charming, unexpected episodes in the book. For example, Agnes's oldest child meets a Jewish man and performs small tasks for him on the Sabbath, which eventually leads to greater goods. Among other things, Mark learns about the Jewish faith, new knowledge he accepts with bemusement and some of his mother's innocence and good humor. Upon hearing that the man doesn't celebrate Christmas, he exclaims: "Will yeh go on outta that! How can yeh not believe in something when it's real?"

The book is not without its share of tragedy, but Agnes takes it all with aplomb. She's clearly the glue that binds her pack of youngsters together: "The rule in the Browne family was: 'You hit one, you hit seven.' Since March twenty-ninth and Redser's demise, little had changed in the Browne house. If anything, the house was less tense." The Mammy is a slight book--it tells the simple, fairly conventional tale of a single Irish family--but it makes up for its gaps with humanity, in the same way Agnes Browne makes up for what she and her children lack. --Melanie Rehak

About the Author:

Now author, actor/director/ script-writer, playwright, video star as well as stand-up comic, the Brendan O'Carroll story begins very modestly. The youngest of eleven children, Brendan O'Carroll was born in Dublin's inner-city in 1955. His mother, Maureen was a Labour TD (MP) and a huge influence on his life. He left school at 12 and worked as a waiter, trying many other occupations in his spare time - disco manager, milkman, pirate radio disc-jockey, painter-decorator etc. For a time he ran his own bar and cabaret lounge before being persuaded to try the comedy circuit. The gigs were small at first and even included his own version of 'Blind Date', but word soon got round about this original and outrageous funnyman and then there was standing-room only. The real turning point in Brendan's career was his first appearance on The Late Late Show, Ireland's longest-running chat show, also shown weekly on Channel 4 in the UK. The studio audience and the viewers loved him. His first video Live at the Tivoli went straight to No 1, knocking U2 out of the top slot and pushing Garth Brooks to No 3. In 1994 he was voted Ireland's No 1 Variety Entertainer at the National Entertainment Awards. He went on to make 4 top-selling videos, and a bestselling record, as well as touring in Ireland, the UK and the USA. The radio show Mrs Browne's Boys, written by and starring Brendan, had a phenomenal daily audience on 2FM and led to the creation of Agnes Browne as the central character in Brendan's first novel, The Mammy, published in 1994. The book topped the bestseller charts in Ireland for months and the film rights were snapped up. The Mammy is now also available as a talking book. The sequel to The Mammy, entitled The Chisellers, published in 1995, was also a long-running bestseller, and the final book in the trilogy, The Granny, (1996) went straight to No 1 in the Irish Bestseller list; the first print-run sold out immediately. Meanwhile Brendan wrote a play, The Course, which had a five-month sell-out run in Dublin in 1995/96 and has toured in England (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool) and Scotland as well as in Canada. Brendan can be seen on the big screen in the film of Roddy Doyle's The Van, in which he plays alongside Colm Meaney of Star Trek and The Snapper fame. His performance has been described by the critics as 'spot-on'. He also hosts a quiz show on RTE - Hot Milk and Pepper.

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Brendan O'Carroll
Editore: The O'Brien Press Ireland (2012)
ISBN 10: 086278641X ISBN 13: 9780862786410
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Descrizione libro The O'Brien Press Ireland, 2012. Soft cover. Condizione libro: New. No Jacket. Published In 2012 : Reprinted Edition : The O'Brien Press Dublin : Faint Face Rubbing : Otherwise, As New Throughout : Overall, A Very Nice Book : Codice libro della libreria 22 - 19297

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Brendan O'Carroll
Editore: O'Brien Press Ltd (1999)
ISBN 10: 086278641X ISBN 13: 9780862786410
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Descrizione libro O'Brien Press Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria M086278641X

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