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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Review - The Imitation of Patsy Burke by John J Gaynard

The Imitation of Patsy Burke
by John J Gaynard

Author Bio
John J. Gaynard hails from Mayo in the West of Ireland. He has lived in Paris for many years.
'Another Life' is a crime novel (but not a police procedural!) depicting life in the rural West of Ireland.
'The Imitation of Patsy Burke' also contains a crime, however its main thrust is the rise and fall of the well-known Irish sculptor and hell-raiser, Patsy Burke, who has lived most of his artistic life in Paris.
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Author at Goodreads  click here
Book Description
World-renowned sculptor and hell-raiser Patsy Burke comes to in a cheap hotel in Paris covered in blood and with a broken arm—and no idea what happened the night before.
Thus begins a journey through the bars of Paris, during which Patsy, with the help of a few “friends,” including Caravaggio and the Scandal Man, attempts to unravel the events of the previous day and night.
Along the way, he relives the major occurrences of his past, most of which involve a combination of women, drink, and violence.
I suppose THE IMITATION OF PATSY BURKE could be described as being about an Irish Tinker who became an Irish Thinker, in spite of the discrimination. But then, as is the case of many original artists I have known in Paris, his personal demons begin to get the better of him, and give him the toughest fight of his life.
Book Review
I always know when my husband is reading a good book as its always with him wherever he goes, he sits in the lounge with it instead of watching the tv, he goes to bed early to read, its as if the book is glued to him.  This is what happened as soon as he started to read this book.

His review
A Must Read...Remarkable how the author, through exploring his past, he opens his conscious to the reader in a manner which draws the reader into his alter egos and inner voices.

The book challenges the readers own egos and inner voices and in a clever way asks the reader if they have the same issues, with their past, love and insecurities. 

With the startling revelation at the end of the book, the author reveals who he really thinks he is.

"One of the best books I have read this year in the way the author draws you into his life and questions our existence, once started I couldn't put it down."

Review rating  Photobucket


  1. Sounds awesome! I need a new book baaaaaad.

    xo Suz from WelltoDo

  2. This sounds like a great book! I will have to check it out.

  3. Hi Sharon,

    I would like to thank you once again for the review you gave to my book, THE IMITATION OF PATSY BURKE. You can imagine that when a writer finishes a book, he or she can think it is the best thing since sliced cheese, but it is only the first reviewer feedback that can tell if the book came close to hitting the mark, and you have been extremely helpful in that regard.

    At the beginning of last week I got the Kirkus Indie Review for the book (which will be circulated to American booksellers from December 1, if I am not mistaken). Here is the review:

    THE IMITATION OF PATSY BURKE (for December 1, 2011)
    Booze, brawls, sex and schizophrenia—such is the artist’s life in Paris, according to this raucous satire.

    When Patsy Burke, a world-famous Irish sculptor living in France, wakes up in his hotel with his body torn and bloody and no recollection of how it got that way, he’s not particularly surprised. A raging alcoholic given to beating up pimps in Paris dives, he’s used to blackouts and drunk tanks. Unfortunately, his latest bender has left a dead man in its wake, and Patsy’s attempt to piece together what he’s been doing for the last few days triggers a reckoning with his past and his demons. Said demons take the form of bickering voices inside his head, including Caravaggio, a Nietzchean figure who eggs on Patsy’s fistfights and womanizing; Goody Two-Shoes, a prim woman who castigates his atrocious treatment of friends and lovers; a wispy romantic named Forget Me Not; and a scary demiurge called the Chopper, whose insistent promptings to behead women with a meat cleaver are barely fended off by the remnants of Patsy’s sanity. These clashing personae narrate Patsy’s violent picaresque and roiling internal conflicts; he’s bombastic, selfish, preening and cynical, yet steeped in Irish-Catholic guilt. (His downward spiral was touched off when he learned that a statue he made of Jesus being sodomized by two monks—meant as a protest against clerical abuses—is now presiding over orgies conducted by Vatican pedophiles.) Patsy’s saga is plenty lurid—“You bit off his right ear and you spat it out”—yet the author’s pristine prose keeps it under control. Despite the tale’s almost Dantean excesses, Gaynard makes the tone ironic and droll—during an odyssey through the Parisian demimonde, Patsy finds himself discussing Marxist development economics with a glamorous prostitute—and registers delicate shadings of his antihero’s psychic travails. The result is an entertaining, over-the-top farce that still draws readers in with pathos.

    A rich, darkly comic send-up of the art world and the megalomaniacal souls that populate it.

  4. Thank you for sharing this review. This sounds like an awesome read..


Always lovely to hear your comments xx

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