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Cover for The Wild Colonial Boy

The Wild Colonial Boy

A Novel

James Hynes


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After years of violence, a tense calm pervades Northern Ireland, soon to be broken by Jimmy Coogan, an IRA veteran gone renegade. Jimmy has stolen ten pounds of plastic explosive, intending to destroy the parliamentary ambitions of the IRA leadership.

Into Jimmy's turbulent world come two young Americans: Brian, vain, ironic, but well-meaning; and Clare, a beautiful, earnest college student. In Ireland on an errand for his Irish Republican family in Detroit, Brian is recruited to Jimmy's bloody mission by his cousin Maire, Coogan's sharp-tongued wife. Soon they are all drawn into the unforgiving labyrinth of modern terrorism, borne toward a horrific and fatal climax.

Praise For The Wild Colonial Boy: A Novel

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real stuff . . . Go out today and get this book, and plan on doing nothing else but reading it tonight.” —The Washington Post

“More than just a page-turning thriller (though it's very much that as well, The Wild Colonial Boy is an intelligent and eminently accessible study of the mad intricacies of contemporary Irish politics. Behind the powerful drive of the meticulously crafted plot, James Hynes's understanding and affection for the land and its people makes itself very strongly felt.” —Madison Smartt Bell

“A striking first novel . . . the language is charged, urgent. It is the eeriest and one of the most brilliant descriptions of anonymous violence in modern fiction.” —Irish-America Magazine

Picador, 9780312204426, 368pp.

Publication Date: December 8, 2000

About the Author

James Hynes is the author of the novels The Lecturer's Tale and Wild Colonial Boy, as well as the stories Publish & Perish (all New York Times Notable Books of the Year). He lives in Austin, Texas.