The Ginger Man


The Ginger Man

"The Ginger Man" is a 1955 novel by J. P. Donleavy.

First published in Paris, the novel is set in Ireland just after World War II. Upon its publication, it was banned in the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America for obscenity.

Plot introduction

It follows the often racy misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American living in Dublin with his English wife and infant daughter and studying law at Trinity College.

This book may be considered part of the fictionalised roar of the end of the Second World War hiatus, also represented by the colossi of American literature: John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. Dangerfield is an American Protestant of Irish descent, commonly believed to be a thinly fictionalised version of the author, but is more broadly based not only on Donleavy but also some of his contemporaries at Trinity. The hero, Dangerfield, is a portrayal of lifelong bohemian and friend of Donleavy, Gainor Stephen Crist, as told by the author in "A History of "The Ginger Man". The book gives us the map of the terra incognita of late 1950s sexual encounters in Dublin. Donleavy's later books spell out the aftermath (particularly "A Fairy Tale of New York", which later inspired Shane MacGowan's song "Fairytale of New York", recorded by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl).

Adaptations

The book is rumoredFact|date=October 2007 to hit the silver screen for the first time with Johnny Depp playing the protagonist. The director will be Laurence Dunmore of "The Libertine" fame. The book also inspired a song of the same name, recorded by the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, sung by Geoff Muldaur.

Inspired drinkeries

This book is the inspiration for several taverns in Ireland and the United States. A Gingerman pub is located in Dublin near Trinity. Four connected pubs (though no longer commonly owned), approved of and visited by Donleavy, are located in the United States in Houston Texas, Dallas Texas, Austin Texas, and the Manhattan district of New York. The Manhattan pub's franchise has been extended to include locations in Greenwich and Norwalk, CT. A seventh American Gingerman pub is located in Chicago. Also existing is The Ginger Man restaurant in Albany, New York. There are two Ginger Man restaurants in Brighton, England.


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