Breakfast on Pluto

Pat McCabe

As Breakfast on Pluto opens, her ladyship, resplendent in housecoat and head scarf, reclines in Kilburn, London, writing her story for the elusive psychiatrist Dr. Terence, paring her fingernails as she reawakens the truth behind her life and the chaos of long-ago days in a city filled with hatred. Twenty years ago, she escaped her hometown of Tyreelin, Ireland, fleeing her foster mother, Whiskers - prodigious Guinness-guzzler, human chimney - and her mad household (endless doorstep babas!), to begin a new life in London. There, in blousey tops and satin miniskirts, she plies her trade, often risking life and limb among the flotsam and jetsam who fill the bars of Piccadilly Circus ("You want love? That what you want, orphaned boy without a home? Then die for it! Die! Die, sweet Irish!). But suave businessmen and lonely old women are not the only dangers that threaten Pussy's existence. It is the 1970s, and fear haunts the streets of London and Belfast as the critical mass of history builds up, and Pussy is inevitably drawn into a maelstrom of violence and tragedy destined to blow his fragile soul asunder.


"Breakfast on Pluto" may be the most successful book yet to be born out of the violence [in Northern Ireland]...Stunning originality."- New York Times Book Review


""Mr. McCabe is the lodestone of new Irish fiction, a writer capable of integrating the history and traditions of his country and its literature with the mad whirl of politics and pop culture." - Wall Street Journal


"A screamingly funny look at a deadly reality."- Atlanta Journal-Constitution


"By turns hilarious and pitiably lonely, Patrick ["Pussy" Braden] is an unforgettable hero."- Newsweek


"A surreal romp...An unsettling claustrophobic novel in which McCabe imaginatively distils Northern Ireland's public horrors as he compels us to inhabit Patrick Braden's private nightmare." - Boston Globe


"[A] careening picaresque...antic debauch and sudden terror. Pussy's voice throughout is delightfully unhinged in its match of high camp and the poetic pretensions of the Irish barfly." - The New Yorker


"An unsparing account of Irish realities. [A] moving, brilliantly told tale...full of human comedy and cruelty."- Washington Post Book World


"Murderous whimsy...[McCabe] has pierced the heart of blackness with satire."- Chicago Sun-Times

Patrick McCabe creates Mr. Patrick "Pussy" Braden, the enduringly and endearingly hopeful hero(ine) whose gutty survival and yearning quest for love resonate in and drive the glimmering, agonizing narrative in which the Troubles are a distant and immediate echo and refrain.

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