Part and parcel of a large and boisterous family, he is pushed around the streets of Dublin by his brothers; the small crippled occupant of a boxcar, silently witnessing the city's joys and woes. Tormented yet calm, he is the detached observer of life in the slums of forties and fifties, Dublin. Written with the fearless discipline that Christy Brown had to establish over his own body, Down all the Days displays his lyrical gifts for language and insight to the full.
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(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
". . . dazed and defeated faces. . . bottles of wine and whiskey. . . strange men arriving at all hours of the day and night with black diamonds already sewn into their coat sleeves. . . the meals that seemed to go on and on. . . . " Thus - down all the days and nights of a large Irish working class family, as the protagonist, a spastic cripple, observes the terrible defeating contest of men and women, the chaos of harsh assaults, "tremendous and tyrannical because unspoken, unvoiced, unfaced. . . . " There was Father, an unremitting storm of abuse and blows; Mother, her tenderness and docility stifling the very love she could give but never take; the proud and fragile Lil; the sturdy boys obsessed with the cataclysm of sex; the dim scrapping presence of the other children. And there are neighbors: the scabrous Red Magoo exulting over the undoubted eternal punishment of her newly deceased husband; funereal, tippling crones; old soldiers of the Revolution; the young at the flood of life or the brink of decay. From his "boxcar," the cripple observes cruelty, grief and straining desires in others and within himself. When his father dies, he at last remembers one moment when he almost articulated his anger and defiance. But like all the others here he is "held by invisible chains." Mr. Brown has a fine fictional sense; an ability to people a void convincingly with ferocity and skill; and his abiding humanity softens and heightens the purgatorial landscape. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Christy Brown
Born in 1932, the son of Dublin bricklayer, Christy Brown was the victim of the athenoid variety of cerebral palsy. With the help of his family and Dr Robert Collism, he overcame his physical disability and won immediate fame with his best-selling novel about life in Dublin, Down All The Days. He was also the author of a second novel A Shadow in Summer and two volumes of poems, Come Softly To My Wake and Background Music. He died in 1981.