Tag: pubs


The Dirty Ginger Man

April 26th, 2010 — 4:33pm

What to say about The Ginger Man.

Sebastian Dangerfield is the ginger man in question. He is an American living with his British wife, Marion, and their baby, Felicity, in Ireland. But that doesn’t keep Sebastian from drinking his way through their finances and sleeping with any woman who will have him.

The writing, by J.P. Donleavy in the 1950s, is very stream-of-consciousness, to the point where there are places where the narration changes from third to first person without any warning.

Sebastian rolled near, pressing the long, blond body to his, thinking of a world outside beating drums below the window in the rain. All slipping on the cobble stones. And standing aside as a tram full of Bishops rumbles past, who hold up sacred hands in blessing. Marion’s hand tightening and touching in my groin. Ginny Cupper took me in her car out to the spread fields of Indiana.

There is no designation to warn you that the point of view is changing. It makes skimming very difficult, I’ll tell you that much.

Once you get past the shock of Sebastian drinking until his liver gives out and having sex with anything that moves, the book is really rather boring. Because nothing else really happens. And Sebastian is kind of a jerk. As in, he pawns Marion’s things and then spends the money to buy alcohol. Donleavy tries to alleviate Sebastian’s jerkiness by having him realize that he is a jerk, that he’s self-aware and feels bad about the things he does. But that doesn’t make him a lovable rogue. He’s almost amoral in his quest to flee from his responsibilities. There are comedic sections, and Sebastian is indeed charming at times……but he still basically manipulates everyone he knows. It’s frustrating because Sebastian doesn’t change and doesn’t seem to learn any lessons. It really honestly is mainly about a man who likes to drink.

However, I can see how the book came to inspire a chain of pubs. And I look forward to going to the one in Houston.

Comment » | modern

99. The Ginger Man by J.P Donleavy

March 30th, 2010 — 9:21pm

Cheer up, ginger kid.

A quick Wikipedia search of the next book on the list, The Ginger Man by JP Donleavy, reveals what I have to look forward to when it comes in at the library:

It follows the often racy misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American living in Dublin with his English wife and infant daughter and studying law at Trinity College.

and,

A movie adaptation of the book was rumored in development with Johnny Depp playing the protagonist.

A book about someone who resembles Johnny Depp having racy misadventures? Hey-o!

The book, which was published in 1955, was first published in Paris and was originally banned for obscenity by the US and Ireland. However, the US and Ireland warmed up to the book — there are several pubs inspired by The Ginger Man in Dublin and several places in the US, including one in Houston. When bars are inspired by literature, everyone’s a winner.

Comment » | modern

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