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Irrlicht: Roman von Joseph O'Connor
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Irrlicht: Roman (Original 2010; 2012. Auflage)

von Joseph O'Connor

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3171564,954 (3.63)19
A collaborative effort between W. B. Yeats and resident playwright John Synge at the Abbey Theatre in 1907 gives way to a barrier-breaking affair with teen actress Molly Allgood, who after World War II looks back on her career and the great love of her life.
Mitglied:Schwarzenburg
Titel:Irrlicht: Roman
Autoren:Joseph O'Connor
Info:S. Fischer Verlag (2012), Edition: 1, Gebundene Ausgabe, 320 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Werk-Informationen

Ghost Light von Joseph O'Connor (2010)

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Gorgeous writing, almost so beautiful that you can't get past the poetry and into the characters, though by the end I was very caught up in Molly's story. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
De voor het grootste gedeelte gefingeerde geschiedenis van de romance tussen de jonggestorven toneelschrijver John Synge en de actrice Maire O'Neill. ( )
  joucy | Apr 4, 2015 |
Beautiful evocation of Edwardian Dublin and the love affair between playwright J.M. Synge and Abbey Theatre actress Maire O'Neill. The author uses complicated tense changes [present for Synge's or Maire's present--1907 until his death for him, the year 1952 for her] and past for each of their pasts. An omnipotent narrator who will be returning from time to time, starts out by addressing Maire as "You" [he/she is addressing her] and we see that in 1952 London, Maire is a has-been actress and alcoholic living in a dilapidated tenement in penury. She obtains a job at BBC for a radio version of an O'Casey play. She trudges there, in the snowy, wintry weather from her home and besides doing errands, spends her day in the National Portrait Gallery, a church, and the cinema. The story moves back and forth from past to present: events in 'real-time' and those in Maire's memory as she makes her journey, recounting those years. Much remembrance is a type of stream of consciousness, but understandable. After the broadcast, the story becomes poignant and sad.

The story was slow-moving, so people wanting a lot of 'action' will not find it here. The language and descriptions were lovely! The author has a gift for putting words together in new ways meaningfully. Much dialogue was couched in Irish slang or Irish dialect; I was able to figure them out from context and they added to the Irish flavor. I especially liked the first half of Chapter 5: a hilarious rehearsal at the Abbey Theatre with Synge, Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Maire. I loved the author's quoting the various songs and ballads. The title was fitting: 'Ghost Light' is a theatrical superstition: when the theater is "dark" [no performances] at least one light is always left on for ghosts to perform their plays. The chapter where Synge meets Maire's mother and brother was written in the form of a play. O'Connor's note at the end was revealing.

Now I'm curious: I must read "Playboy of the Western World" by Synge. There was a big uproar when it was first presented. and I'd like to see why. ( )
  janerawoof | Aug 22, 2014 |
I picked this one up because it's Joseph O'Connor, and he can do no wrong, nearly. I wouldn't list this as one of his best books. It never hits the highs of "Inishowen" or "Star of the Sea" or "Redemption Falls," but it's *good*.

I found the story dragged a little bit, and while I get that it was the old woman, wandering across London, her memories of her time with Synge resurfacing, Joseph sparkled when telling of young Molly and her early sizzling affair with the playwright. And threatened to, when hinting at the strained relationship between Molly and her daughter, living up north, inaccessible to Molly of her own doing, it seems.

When I say 'drag' I mean more like the pull of the sea. The story surges forward, gently, though, and then lulls for a little bit as Molly lurches forward and hatches a plan to survive in London on what she has left. By the end I was knee deep in the sea, surrounded by it, and does Mr. O'Connor ever write well, immersing you in his characters' lives.

So while it's not my favorite Joseph O'Connor book, not by a long shot, it's very worth your while spending a few afternoons or evenings with it, he'll tell you a good story. ( )
  mhanlon | Apr 25, 2013 |
Synge's mistress... star of the Dublin ... "Playboy of the Western World" ... zzzzzzzzzzzzz ( )
  picardyrose | Apr 19, 2013 |
Whatever the current fashion in fiction, there will always be readers to welcome a love story. And when the fashion runs to fictionalising the lives of actual people, what better than the love story of a young, doomed Irish genius and a young, beautiful Irish actress?

I don't know how closely Ghost Light follows what is known of John Millington Synge's relationship with Molly Allgood. Novelists generally claim the right to rearrange or suppress facts and invent non-facts in order to arrive, not at a biographical representation of historical figures, but at a re-creation of them – ...
 
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In the top floor room of the dilapidated townhouse across the Terrace, a light has been on all night.
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A collaborative effort between W. B. Yeats and resident playwright John Synge at the Abbey Theatre in 1907 gives way to a barrier-breaking affair with teen actress Molly Allgood, who after World War II looks back on her career and the great love of her life.

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