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The Temporary Gentleman - Sebastian Barry

The Temporary Gentleman - Sebastian Barry

Title: The Temporary Gentleman

Author:  Sebastian Barry

ISBN:  9780571276950

Weight:  751 g

Signed first edition, first printing



Last 1 in stock, fast dispatch

Our price:  £17.99

The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry

Jack McNulty is a ‘temporary gentleman’, an Irishman whose commission in the British army in the Second World War was never permanent.  In 1957, sitting in his lodgings in Accra, he urgently sets out to write his story.  He feels he cannot take one step further, or even hardly a breath, without looking back at all that has befallen him.

Jack is an ordinary man, both petty and heroic, but he has seen extraordinary things.  He has worked and wandered around the world – as a soldier, an engineer, a UN observer – trying to follow his childhood ambition to better himself.  And he has had a strange and tumultuous marriage.  Mai Kirwan was a great beauty of Sligo in the 1920s, a vivid mind, but an elusive and mysterious figure too.  Jack married her, and shared his life with her, but in time she slipped from his grasp.

A heart-breaking portrait of one man’s life – of his demons and his lost love – The Temporary Gentleman is, ultimately, a novel about Jack’s last bid for freedom, from the savage realities of the past and from himself.

Peer & Press Reviews

Told in Barry’s flawless prose, it’s a book that leaves the reader bruised long after the final page has been, regretfully, turned.

John Harding, Daily Mail

Engrossing… memorable… a notable addition to Barry’s ongoing chronicle of lives hitherto untold.

John Boland, Irish Independent

Barry’s greatness isn’t just that he’s a fine writer and a deeply political writer.  His greatness is he does it all simultaneously: he tells a desolating story and demolishes many myths at the same time.  Ireland’s lucky to have him.

Carlo Gebler, Financial Times

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: The Temporary Gentleman
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Overall condition: Fine / Fine (for more info, see our article on condition grades)
Signed: On the title page
Awards and Media
Awards and prizes

International Dublin Literary Award 2016 – longlist

Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2015 – longlist

Media adaptation BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime: ten 15-minute episodes, broadcast Mon-Fri at 10:45pm from Mon 9 Jun 2014.
Book Stats
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date:
Printed by: CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 13: 9780571276950
ISBN 10: 0571276954
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 268
Size (h x w x d): 242 x 161 x 29mm
Design Credits
Author photograph: Courtesy of the Irish Times
Jacket design: Faber
Jacket photograph: H. Armstrong Roberts / Corbis

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