The Holy City: A Novel by Patrick McCabe

By Patrick McCabe

A nerve-racking and darkly humorous new novel from the award-winning writer of Breakfast on Pluto, The Butcher Boy, and Winterwood.

In this hypnotic novel, Chris McCool, the dandyish, debonair playboy of a small and insulated group known as the chuffed membership, displays on his lives: the single he lives and the darker one he’s attempted demanding to disregard. The illegitimate son of a wealthy Protestant landowner’s spouse and a negative Catholic farmer, Chris desired to be a sixties swinger—driving a Ford Cortina, possessing a couple of crimson velvet flares—but, regardless of his stable intentions, couldn't conquer the mysteries and regrets of his personal upbringing.

With a chain of deftly Freudian prospers, McCabe offers us a narrator whose personal insecurities, and most significantly his obsession with a tender Catholic Nigerian boy named Marcus Otoyo, hinder him from seeing the reality approximately what he's in a position to. Are Chris’s internal struggles together with his parentage and faith purely own quests—or do they masks an angrier, extra harmful individual underneath?

Tense, crafty, and eerily compelling, The Holy urban is a singular of religion, anxiousness, and darkish secrets and techniques, with a beautiful and marvelous end.

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I know. ’ Dexter raised his head and stared bleakly at the grimacing samurai. ‘When it came to it, I didn’t . ’ Joan shook his shoulder, irritated by him. ‘So what? Nobody does. ’ ‘I had the balls . ’ Dexter calmed her with his quirky smile. ‘What I didn’t have was hope, or trust. I was relying on myself. For me, those children were already dead. I should have remembered who I was trying to be. ’ I waited for Dexter to reflate himself, jaw flexing as it reengaged with his scarred face. ‘The travel agency you tried to attack.

The planet is full. ’ Her voice rose to a derisive hoot. ‘Gangs of coolies who mix the cement and lay the runways. ’ They’re the real victims. ’ I held my ribs, no longer thinking of whether I could walk as far as the King’s Road. Kay Churchill was launched into a well-rehearsed rant, counting off the chipped beads in her catechism of obsessions. According to Henry Kendall, the tape found in the Heathrow air vent had contained a similar tirade. I remembered the amateur video of Laura lying among the glass and suitcases, and listened to Kay addressing her real audience, the weary magistrates who would finally consign her to a cell in Holloway.

Laing and a familiar figure on CND marches, joining Bertrand Russell at anti-nuclear sit-ins and being glamorously dragged away by the police. Late-night discussion programmes on television were as much her natural home as the consulting room. As a child I watched her on my grandmother’s TV set, deeply impressed by the caftans, waist-length black hair and fiercely articulate passion. Free love and legalized drugs meant little to me, though I guessed they were in some way connected to the friendly but unfamiliar men who appeared on her weekend visits, and to the home-made cigarettes she taught me to roll for her and which she smoked despite the protests of my wearily tolerant grandmother.

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