“It is one of the books that reveal their quality from the first line. On every page there is that immediacy all good writing has.“
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I have to confess that The Ginger Man has been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, and until now I hadn’t been all that interested in picking it up. My (ginger) partner picked it up in the charity shop for the name, and although I had a flick through, it’s been gathering dust since. Then, this last banned books week, I heard it mentioned a few times and ended up looking it up to find that it was banned in Ireland and the US for obscenity. It’s also sold 45 million copies worldwide, and has never been out of print.
The Ginger Man is a peculiar little book. When I first started I had shades of Orwell, and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. This may be just because the books were released at similar times, as J. P. Donleavy has an odd, stilting prose for this book. Short sentences, prose that reads like myriad thoughts crammed together, and constant switching between first person and third person made me very disconcerted, and it took a while to get into.