THE THRILL OF IT ALL by Joseph O’Connor has been longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2015. The longlist has just been announced, and O’Connor finds himself in good company alongside Martin Amis, Paulo Coelho, Michael Cunningham, David Grossman and other internationally acclaimed authors.
Books are nominated for the Award by invited public libraries in cities throughout the world - making the Award unique in its coverage of international fiction. Each year a panel of distinguished international judges is then put in place under a non-voting chair to consider each book from the longlist and narrow it down to a shortlist of up to 10 titles, coming up with the final winner by June.
THE THRILL OF IT ALL was nominated by Tampere City Library, in Finland. The librarian explained his choice: ‘To succeed in writing a novel about the music business appears to be almost as hard – if not even harder – than actually making it in the said business. However, O’Connor pulls it off admirably, his take on the subject manages to capture and convey “the thrill of it all” well and truly. The fragile interpersonal relationship of the protagonists has been portrayed in a particularly convincing manner. Ships in the night, indeed…’
THE THRILL OF IT ALL is O’Connor’s first contemporary novel after the critically-acclaimed million-copy selling STAR OF THE SEA, and the two historical novels that followed it. It has been chosen by Colm Toibin as one of his Best Books of2014 in The Observer, and as Irish Times’ Book of the Week in August 2015.
At college in 1980s Luton, Robbie Goulding, an Irish-born teenager, meets the elusive Fran Mulvey, an orphaned Vietnamese refugee. Together they form a band. Joined by cellist Sarah-Thérèse Sherlock and her twin brother Seán on drums, The Ships in the Night set out to chase fame. But the story of this makeshift family is haunted by ghosts from the past.
Spanning 25 years, THE THRILL OF IT ALL rewinds and fast-forwards through an evocative soundtrack of struggle and laughter, infused with blues, ska, classic showtunes, New Wave and punk. Using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries, the tale stretches from suburban England to Manhattan’s East Village, from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl, from the meadows of the Glastonbury Festival to a wintry Long Island, culminating in a Dublin evening in July 2012, a night that changes everything.
A story of loyalties, friendship, the call of the muse, and the beguiling shimmer of teenage dreams, this is a warm-hearted, funny and deeply moving novel for anyone that’s ever loved a song.
Joseph O’Connor has written film and television scripts, journalism, short stories, biography and travel literature. In summer 2009 he took up the prestigious Harman Visiting Professorship in Creative Writing at Baruch College, City University of New York, following in the footsteps of Edward Albee, Paul Auster, Anita Desai and Yeats (who features in GHOST LIGHT). In 2014 he became theinaugural Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick, chosen above many other distinguished writers considered for the post.