Charming Billy

A Novel

Alice McDermott

Picador

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A New York Times bestseller, winner of the National Book Award and a finalist for the International Dublin IMPAC Literary Award, Charming Billy is "Alice McDermott's masterpiece" (NPR) and now a Picador Modern Classic.

Billy Lynch’s family and friends have gathered to comfort his widow, and to pay their respects to one of the last great romantics. As they trade tales of his famous humor, immense charm, and consuming sorrow, a complex portrait emerges of an enigmatic man, a loyal friend, a beloved husband, an incurable alcoholic. Alice McDermott’s striking novel is a study of the lies that bind and the weight of familial love, of the way good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide.

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Book Excerpts

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Excerpt from Charming Billy by Alice McDermott. Copyright © 1997 by Alice McDermott. To be published in December, 1997 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


SOMEWHERE IN THE BRONX, only twenty minutes or so from the cemetery, Maeve found a small bar-and-grill in a wooded alcove set well off the street that was willing to serve the funeral party of forty-seven medium-rare roast beef and boiled potatoes and green beans amandine, with fruit salad to begin and vanilla ice cream to go with the coffee. Pitchers of beer and of iced tea would be placed along the table

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Reviews

Praise for Charming Billy

"A luminous and affecting novel."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"There's no one like Alice McDermott for catching the ebullient particulars of the Irish-American sensibility...her touch is light as a feather, her perceptions purely accurate."—Elle

"McDermott demonstrates anew that she is a writer in a league all her own."—People

"An exquisitly rendered potrait...tales overlap tales in a singsong pattern of Irish-American brogue and family history."—Entertainment Weekly

"An astoundingly beautiful novel about the persistence of love, the perseverance of grief, and all-but-unbearable loneliness, as well as faith, loyalty, and redemption."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Taut and beautifully written...Each distinct atom of reality splits under McDermott's artisan hammer and releases a world of wild, lost particles: charm, for example, and others the physicists have not yet invented, such as grief, comedy, even happiness."—Los Angeles Times

"This is fiction as good as it gets."—USA Today

"Haunting...mesmerizing...McDermott is an enormously skilled and assured writer who transforms the ordinary into something resonant and magical."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[A] rueful shrug of a novel whose strong, shrewd opening pages should be taught in college writing classes."—Time

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About the Author

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is the author of six novels. Her articles, reviews and stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Redbook and elsewhere.

Alice McDermott

Epic Photography/Jamie Schoenberger
Alice McDermott

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Available Formats and Book Details

Charming Billy
A Novel
Alice McDermott

Award

National Book Awards - Winner, American Book Award Winner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2009
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312429423
ISBN10: 0312429428
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$15.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
Picador Modern Classics
10/7/2014
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250058324
ISBN10: 1250058325
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$16.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
November 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429929707
ISBN10: 1429929707
280 pages
$9.99
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Picador

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