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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know


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About the Author

Colm Toibin is the author of nine novels, including The Blackwater Lightship; The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary; and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections, and Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know, a look at three nineteenth-century Irish authors. He is the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Toibin lives in Dublin and New York.


"Wise and resonant...Toibin presents an evocative, engaging portrait not only of 'three prodigal fathers, ' as he calls them, but of Dublin in the 19th and early 20th centuries as 'a place of isolated individuals, its aura shapeless in some way, a place hidden from itself, mysterious and melancholy.'"
--Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review

"Three compelling portraits... a short but entertaining, thoroughly engaging study on the agony of filial influence."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A vivid and knowledgeable depiction of nineteenth-century cultural life in the Irish capital...Toibin portrays three giants of Irish literature and their city in a new and clarifying light."
--Booklist, (starred review)

"Despite the focus on fathers, the works of the sons pervade this book, and Toibin illuminates them with fresh readings...this study balances dexterous narration and Toibin's scholarly familiarity with his subjects' place in Irish political and social history."
--Publishers Weekly
"This gentle, immersive book holds literary scholarship to be a heartfelt, heavenly pursuit."
--Thomas Mallon, The Washington Post

"Juicy, wry and compelling... an entertaining and revelatory little book about the vexed relationships between these three pairs of difficult fathers and their difficult sons."
--Maureen Corrigan, The Wall Street Journal "Both odd and will be...evocatively entertained, especially if you fancy Dublin, as Toibin clearly does...Dublin's streets, pubs, libraries and shops, for Toibin, are lively with ghosts."
--Claude Peck, The Minneapolis Star Tribune "These famous men and the fathers who helped shape them come alive in Toibin's retelling, as do Dublin's colorful inhabitants."
--Esquire "An engaging study of influence, ambition, love--and their discontents."
--Brian Dillon, 4Columns
"Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know offers richly drawn portraits of fathers and sons, illuminating the influence rippling between gener-ations...As charming as it is illuminating, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know provides a singular look at an extraordi-nary confluence of genius."

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