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The Dead School (1995)

af Patrick McCabe

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
403448,022 (3.63)4
?The best Irish novel of the decade? Sunday Telegraph Malachy Dudgeon has escaped the misery and madness of his childhood home and landed a job in the most famous school in Dublin. The headmaster, Raphael Bell, has overcome his own tragedies to forge a model career. ?McCabe can make you howl at the darkest antics . . . He never sets a foot - or syllable - wrong. His novel is death on a laugh-support machine. Stupendous.? Scotland on Sunday ?Raphael, the great headmaster, is a marvellous creation . . . McCabe has a charm as a storyteller which is all his own? Sunday Telegraph ?Exhilarating. Reading the distilled gouts of consciousness which pour from the minds of these characters is like being trapped on a big dipper with articulate maniacs . . . Horribly funny? The Times ?An appallingly funny story . . . horribly memorable? Times Literary Supplement.… (mere)
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» Se også 4 omtaler

Engelsk (3)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (4)
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“When I am at my work each day
In the fields so fresh and green
I often think of riches and the way things might have been
But believe me when I tell you when I get home each day
I'm as happy as a sandboy with my wee cup of tay”

This novel centres on two Irish men who are trapped in the culture of their past. Malachy Dudgeon's childhood, despite being the victim of bullying from older boys, was initially happy and secure until it changes one day he catches his mum having extra-marital sex with a local man and his dad commits suicide shortly afterwards. Despite this break-up of the family unit he still manages to go to teacher training college and falls in love with a fellow student. Almost by accident he is hired to work in a Dublin private boys' school. There he comes across Headmaster Raphael Bell.

Despite his father being killed as an insurgent by British troops Raphael has an almost idyllic childhood, he has great success as a student before going on to have an equally successful early career as teacher then as Headmaster in boys' schools. He is scared women but eventually finds love and marries. However Raphael is deeply conservative Catholic and moralistic in his approaches to life and education. In contrast Malachy is much more liberal in his outlook on life which leads to conflict between the two men as he struggles to control the boys in his class. Malachy is struggling under the pressures of being teacher whilst Raphael is struggling to come to terms with the prevailing changes and attitudes ongoing within the Irish education. When there is a fatal accident with one of the students the fabric of both men's lives is torn to shreds.

Despite the exaggerated situations that both men finds themselves in McCabe creates two well-rounded believable main characters and it is relatively easy for the reader to feel some sympathy for them as they struggle with rude, surly students and demanding parents against a backdrop of conflicts between strict standards and flexible, creative learning. All of these issues are touched upon here. In contrast I found the female characters less believable. Overall an interesting read but not a great one. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 12, 2018 |
Niet slecht, maar ook niet briljant schoolverhaal. Wat voorspelbaar. ( )
  judikasp | Apr 17, 2015 |
One of the best novels written in the past twenty years is The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe, arguably the finest contemporary Irish novelist this side of Roddy Doyle. In The Dead School, McCabe uses the time honored style of good old fashion storytelling to remind readers of the tough lot in life it was living in Ireland in the last century. More specifically, the author takes on generation gaps as personified by different approaches in classroom management by a new teacher and his firm, unyielding Catholic headmaster who hired him. Their individual actions toward one other and cumulative assumptions about each other bring ruin to both in this tragic tale that reinforces the sadness and despair that one tends to associate with the Irish of this era. ( )
  lukespapa | Jan 16, 2014 |
A quick read, and fairly original with pretty good writing. It's not something you'll teach in class, but it is something that you can relax with and become easily engaged in. Worth reading for pleasure. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jun 7, 2007 |
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Wikipedia på engelsk (2)

?The best Irish novel of the decade? Sunday Telegraph Malachy Dudgeon has escaped the misery and madness of his childhood home and landed a job in the most famous school in Dublin. The headmaster, Raphael Bell, has overcome his own tragedies to forge a model career. ?McCabe can make you howl at the darkest antics . . . He never sets a foot - or syllable - wrong. His novel is death on a laugh-support machine. Stupendous.? Scotland on Sunday ?Raphael, the great headmaster, is a marvellous creation . . . McCabe has a charm as a storyteller which is all his own? Sunday Telegraph ?Exhilarating. Reading the distilled gouts of consciousness which pour from the minds of these characters is like being trapped on a big dipper with articulate maniacs . . . Horribly funny? The Times ?An appallingly funny story . . . horribly memorable? Times Literary Supplement.

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