A Kid From Marlboro Roa

A Kid From Marlboro Road

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Edward Burns
An Irish-American family comes to life through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy in this debut novel by actor-filmmaker Edward Burns.

Our twelve-year-old narrator, an aspiring writer, is at a wake. He takes in the death of his beloved grandfather, Pop, a larger-than-life figure. The overflowing crowd—a sign of a life well lived— includes construction workers in their muddy boots, elderly Irish women in black dresses, cops in uniform, members of the family deep in mourning. He watches it all, not yet realising how this Irish-American world defines who he is and who he will become. His older brother Tommy has no patience for rules and domesticities, his father is emotionally elsewhere. This boy knows that he’s the best thing his mother's got, though her sadness envelops them both.  

In A Kid from Marlboro Road, past and present intermingle as family stories are told and retold. The narrative careens between the previous generation’s colourful sojourns in infamous parts of New York City:  the Bronx and Hell’s Kitchen  - and the softer world of Gibson, the town on Long Island where they now live. There are scenes in the Rockaways, at Belmont racetrack, and in Montauk. 

Edward Burns’s buoyant first novel is a bildungsroman. Out of one boy’s story a collective warmth emerges, a certain kind of American tale, raucous and joyous.

With eight pages of photographs of some of the people and historical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the novel. 

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