Call Me the Breeze
By Patrick McCabe
HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060523886, 352pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2003
List Price: $24.95*
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In a small town in Northern Ireland, in the troubling psychedelic-gone-wrong atmosphere of the late seventies, Joey Tallon embarks on a journey of selfhood, of redemption, and of rebirth. A man deranged by desire, and longing for belonging, with the words of T. S. Eliot as his guide -- "We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time" -- Tallon searches for his "place of peace," a spiritual landscape located somewhere between Ireland and Iowa, and maybe between heaven and hell.
Following the delusional, but also ultimately likable, Tallon on his quest, we unwittingly enter a world constructed by a character who is arguably more lucid during his acid trips than when he's sober. What begins as a baffling mystery in McCabe's hands becomes a raucous and ribald adventure. From Tallon's punk rock beginnings, to his stewardship of his prison's literary society, to his brief tenure as director of the Youth in Action Creative Arts Awareness Scheme, and finally to his bull-like charge into the political arena, Joey's journey toward enlightenment and deliverance takes readers into the innermost heart of a man at odds with himself and the violent, sometimes surreal world around him.
Hilarious, poignant, and unpredictable, Call Me the Breeze is a literary odyssey five years in the making. It is Patrick McCabe at his absolute best.