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Charming Billy
Charming Billy
Author: Alice McDermott
Alice McDermott tells the story of Billy Lynch within the complex matrix of a tightly knit Irish American community, in a voice that is resonant and full of deep feeling. Charming Billy is a masterpiece about the unbreakable bonds of memory and desire.
ISBN-13: 9780374120801
ISBN-10: 0374120803
Publication Date: 12/31/1997
Pages: 280
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Charming Billy on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
A graceful tale, an extended wake and reflection on the life of a man. Poignant, well-written characters, can't exactly say it was a pleasure to read but the author is very skilled in helping us see a man's life -- the joys, the despairs, the rejection.
reviewed Charming Billy on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Good ol' Irish immigrant story set in NY. The story is beautiful and sad. Floats between the past and the present with each character.
reviewed Charming Billy on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I actually thought this book dragged on waaay to much. About half-way through the book I realized that I didn't care about the characters.

I don't recommend this book.
reviewed Charming Billy on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Book in excellent condition. This story will touch your heart. A secret between friends changes their lives forever. Billy's tragic sorrow juxtaposed against his ability to be generous and charming to everyone he meets makes him a true hero.
reviewed Charming Billy on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I couldn't get into this book at all. I found it a little strange and boring. The characters were lame, the topic was weird, the setting was boring and the story didn't seem to grab me. I strated the book about 4 times and honestly couldn't finish the book.
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reviewed Charming Billy on
I was very disappointed in this book. I read it because it won a National Book Award, expecting something more. She explored the surrounding characters fairly thoroughly, but at the end of the book I was left wanting for any real understanding of the character of Billy. I also found the Irish cliches a bit overdone. It was a pretty depressing book with a rather fatalistic end, but I also found the writing style poor. She is the undisputed queen of run-on sentences and it makes the reading muddled in many places. In the latter half of the book I actually laughed out loud because she had an entire paragraph spanning two pages that was literally one sentence. No kidding, a single sentence that was over 165 words long (Out of sheer incredulity I had to count) How that type of writing qualifies for winning an award is beyond me.
reviewed Charming Billy on + 80 more book reviews
Really enjoyed it-- I think the author is extremely gifted.

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