Authors: Brendan O'Carroll
Tags: #Contemporary, #Historical, #Humour
Table of Contents
The Young Wan
The Young Wan
is a page-turner . . . because the reader comes to know and care about the fates of the richly drawn characters that populate Dublin’s teeming Jarro . . . A satisfying mix of vice and virtues, seasoned with wit and warmth and human kindness,
is a hearty Irish stew that entertains as it nourishes. Read it.”
“Brendan O’Carroll’s latest installment of the Agnes Browne series is sure to bring a smile to your Irish eyes ... O’Carroll is a comedian, and his perfect sense of timing makes this novel as much fun as the others in the series.”—
Praise for Brendan O’Carroll
“Irreverently comical ... It’s refreshing to enter O’Carroll’s fun-loving working-class Dublin world.”—
“An almost surefire winner . . . one of those books that demand to be read in one sitting.”—
The Irish Voice
“How to lose weight: Read
. You will laugh your arse off and your tears will do away with your water-retention problem. It is an uproariously funny account of growing up in inner-city Dublin—a laugh-out-loud book with a Dickensian twist to it.”
—Malachy McCourt, author of
A Monk Swimming
is an acclaimed Irish playwright and stand-up comedian. He has appeared in the films
He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
ALSO BY BRENDAN O’CARROLL
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand,
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Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Published by Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Previously published in a Dutton edition.
First Plume Printing, February 2004
Copyright © Brendan O’Carroll, 2003
All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
The Library of Congess has catalogued the Dutton edition as follows:
O’Carroll, Brendan, date.
The young wan : an Agnes Browne novel / Brendan O’Carroll.
eISBN : 978-1-440-61877-2
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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It is with all the love in my heart
and my belief in their future
that I dedicate this book
Julia Grace Nolan
I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU and some words to the people who have prepared me for takeoff and continue to make me fly.
Billy Flood, for his belief. You were more than a teacher, you are an inspiration.
Fiona O’Carroll, my daughter. When I took you in my arms for the first time, you were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Nothing in the last twenty-one years has changed my mind. Daddy loves you, Princess.
Danny O’Carroll, my eldest son. If I had a wish to grant those people I love, it would be that they have a son like you.
Eric O’Carroll, my youngest son. You make me laugh, and you fill my life with the wonders of your fantastic imagination. I love you so much I could burst.
Jenny Gibney, my life and love partner. The vault within which my fragile heart is safe.
Rory Cowan, to whom I dedicated my last book. I’m sorry I hurt you. Thank you for forgiving me.
Fiona Gowland, my sister. You have no idea how proud I am to point you out and tell those in my company
is my sister.
Mike Nolan, my friend, my ally, my brother.
Martin Delany, my friend. Life really is like a box of chocolates, Martin. Don’t go on a diet!
Paddy Houlihan. All right, horse? If God had granted me the grace of another child, I would wish it were you.
Annette Dolan, my friend. My life would have been so much the poorer over the last ten years had God not sent you to me.
Clyde Carroll, my friend. Your future is in your hands. I delight in being the vehicle if you are a careful driver.
Conor Brett, my friend. You have a unique talent, to come through every time you’re asked. Thank you.
Fiona Gibney, my friend. Who lost Saturdays, Sundays, and sleep to help me over the line.
John Bond, who straightened out my life and taught me two plus two is four.
Evelyn Conway. To this day I still do not know. But I shall never forget the contribution your being in my life has meant to my success. Never.
Rosemary Ahern, my friend. I regret you could not finish what you started, but you left me in good hands. Really good.
Clare Ferraro. The boss. You, just you alone, you package of positive energy, epitomize everything that is great about New York. Its strength, its open-arm welcome for anyone and everyone, your belief in tomorrow, and in me.
And finally . . .
Karen Murphy. Without doubt the finest editor I have ever had. You massaged this book out of me, convinced me I had a voice, and gently kicked me over every obstacle. I hope I have not let you down.
God bless you all.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD my mother, Maureen, would dress me for school and then stand back to check me over. There wasn’t a lot to check. The L-shaped rip in my shoulder she had mended with her famous “invisible stitching,” which was about as invisible as the job done on Frankenstein’s monster’s forehead. The holes that had been in the elbows of my woolen jumper she had “darned,” a dying if not dead skill. She was a beautiful darner and used a basket-weave stitch. This was obvious, for the navy-blue darning wool stood out on the elbows of my green jumper, as it did on my gray socks. These socks were protected from the holes in the soles of my shoes by the piece of linoleum she had inserted. The soles may have been worn through, but the brogues shone from the polishing she had given them. So there I stood, my clothes held together by my mother’s skill, but spotlessly clean. My shoes sealed by a piece of somebody’s old flooring, but shining, and me smelling of the Sunlight carbolic soap with which she had earlier washed me from head to toe. The raggle-taggle schoolboy. Taking all of this into account, her last words to me each morning were all the more astounding. She would smile, pinch my cheek, and, looking me straight in the eyes, say, “Brendan you can be anything you want to be; you, my son, can do anything.”