The Bronx is burning in 1980-82. John Lennon is being stalked, Bobby Sands is dying, the Reagan Revolution has begun and AIDS is about to be identified. Sean arrives from Ireland searching for his girlfriend, Mary. He finds a lot more than he's looking for, including Danny McCorley, a hard-hitting, book-loving, construction worker with a shadowy past in the Irish Republican movement and a secret. More
In this big, passionate novel the Bronx is burning in 1980-82. John Lennon is being stalked, Bobby Sands is dying, the Reagan Revolution has begun and AIDS is about to be identified. But life goes on in the immigrant bars of Bainbridge Avenue as Sean arrives from Ireland searching for his girlfriend, Mary. He finds a lot more than he's looking for, including Danny McCorley, a hard-hitting, book-loving, construction worker with a shadowy past in the Irish Republican movement and a secret...
In Rocking the Bronx Larry Kirwan delivers a brilliant mash up of a novel that is part coming of age tale, part portrait of the artist as a young man, and part immigrant saga. His portrayal of young Irish loose on the hard streets of the Bronx in the 1980's is powerful and evocative and his characters, whether they are experiencing elation or desolation in a strange land, are deftly drawn. This novel serves as an elegy for a lost time and place - the vibrant and chaotic New York City that thrived in the shadows of the Age of Reagan. It is the kind of book that will stay with you long after you put it down. Thomas Kelly (Empire Rising)
With language that is electric and at times even startling, Larry Kirwan deftly tells an authentic New York story: about the Bronx of the early 1980s; about the lost children of Ireland; about sex and drugs and the healing gift of rock and roll; about our ache for connection. Not a single word is false; he has the gift. Dan Barry (City Lights: Stories About New York)
This is a Bronx tale full of raucous life and unvarnished reality. It captures a time when the Bronx had become a synonym for urban decay and conflict, and a new generation of Irish immigrants struggled to get a toehold on America. There are no ethnic niceties in these pages, no phony-baloney version of multicultural harmony. This is the urban American of the 80s in all its raw squalor and splendor. Every page sparkles with memorable characters and lyrical accuracy. Peter Quinn (Banished Children of Eve)
"A tale of the tunes, the beats, the rhythms and the blues of two closely-related islands, Ireland and Manhattan, connected by an Atlantic of bittersweet stories. This is a sixteen-wheeler, power-chord boogie of a book, which will delight all Black 47 fans and many more besides." Joseph O’Connor (Star of the Sea)
"Rockin' the Bronx has a headlong momentum and street-level immediacy, teeming with drama, romance, and politics." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
A tremendous rock n roll saga ... The prolific Kirwan offers writing about the transformative and curative powers of music and performance that is brilliant on its own, but his lovingly rendered portrait of American and Irish social and political realties in the 1980s is both brutal and magical. --Library Journal