Download Ripley Bogle for free

Ripley Bogle

Format: Hardcover

Language: English

Pages: 320

Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st North American ed edition (April 1, 1998)

ISBN: 1559704241

Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub

Size: 6.4 MB

Downloadable formats: PDF


"I am twenty-one years old, my name is Ripley Bogle and my occupations are starving, freezing, and weeping hysterically." So announces the eponymous narrator of this alternately hilarious and horrifying novel by the Irish writer Robert McLiam Wilson, author of Eureka Street. Ripley Bogle is a Cambridge dropout from Northern Ireland who's fallen down on his luck. Having alienated everyone he knows--seemingly including the entire population of Cambridge--he disrupts an old girlfriend's wedding, attacks his landlord, and finds himself unceremoniously chucked out onto the street. The narrative follows this handsome vagrant for four chilly June days while he wanders London, ranting and reminiscing in heady stream-of-consciousness prose. Reared amid the poverty and violence of Belfast, Bogle doesn't have a kind word for anyone or anything, including his family ("the usual cast list of subhuman Gaelic scumbuckets") and his countrymen ("As a people we're a shambles; as a nation--a disgrace; as a culture we're a bore ... individually we're often repellent"). What he does have is a great Joycean roar of a voice and a prodigious talent for self-destruction. Bogle can try the reader's patience: some of his tirades read like tragicomic howls of pain, others like pure postadolescent gross-out. The novel's end takes a still nastier turn; even after Bogle's unrelentingly grim portrait of life on the London streets, his concluding confessions manage to shock. Ugliness aside, the sheer wattage of Wilson's prose carries the day, and his narrative has all the momentum--and the queasy fascination--of a car accident in progress. --Mary Park

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