George V. Reilly

Review: Born & Bred

Born & Bred
Title: Born & Bred
Author: Peter Murphy
Rating: ★ ★ ★
Publisher: The Story Plant
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 395
Keywords: fiction, Ireland
Reading period: December 15, 2014–Jan 7, 2015

Danny Boyle is growing up in Dublin in the 1960s and 1970s, watched over by his grand­moth­er. First as she raises him, then from beyond the grave. Danny, as his parents did before him, is making a mess of his life, and he’s a small-time drug dealer with some big problems.

I grew up in Dublin, about a decade behind Danny Boyle, so I enjoyed Murphy’s evocation of Dublin in the 1970s. However, I disliked his constant changing of viewpoint and frequent hopping back and forth across the timeline. Although he attempts some heavy top­ic­s—­drugs, IRA violence, changing social mores—I found the book rather light­weight.

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