Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Guest Reviewer John Stickney Reviews The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M. O'Connor

Having recently reviewed THE LAST COLLAR by Lawrence Kelter and Frank Zafiro, John is back today with another review.

In The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M. O’Connor we explore the Irish city of Cork, it’s denizens and characters, and its lively language.   Told through the eyes of Benjamin Hackett our narrator is on a journey of discovery a common enough story for many young men turning 18 years of age.  Here’s the difference, on this his 18th birthday in 1996, a hungover Benjamin learns from his parents that he was, in fact, adopted.  Off he goes with, accompanied by his best mate JJ, to find out the truth of who and why.  In the course of this five-day journey we encounter the Catholic Church of Ireland and all of its institutional secrecy, the sport of Hurling (as foreign to some as Quidditch once was), gangsters, arch rivals, distant women and the most dangerous thing of all, family.

This is author O’Connor’s debut novel, it is remarkable that his voice is so developed, there is a lushness apparent in both language and dialogue, and an equally well-tuned sense of humor.  The ending leaves us with the hope of more, these characters, and especially our narrator deserve an on-going series.  Funny, engaging and well-paced, it is a diversion worth your time.  Highly recommended.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

John Stickney ©2017

John Stickney is a writer formerly from Cleveland, Ohio now residing in North Carolina.  His fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Demolition, Needle, among others.

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