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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know by Colm Toibin
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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce

$32.68 USD

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Narrator Colm Toibin
Length 6 hours 6 minutes
Language English
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Summary

Award-winning author Colm Tóibín turns his incisive gaze to three of the world's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers.

"A father...is a necessary evil." Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses

In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know, Colm Tóibín illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish a painting; to John Stanislaus Joyce, a singer, drinker, and storyteller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his writing, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know brilliantly combines biography and literary appreciation and is a revealing, personal new look at the lives of three major literary icons.

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Reviews

A Washington Post 50 Notable Work of Nonfiction

Praise for Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know:

“Toibin presents an evocative, engaging portrait not only of “three prodigal fathers,” as he calls them, but of Dublin in the 19th and early 20th centuries. . . . This is a thrilling reading that aptly unites Toibin’s novelistic gifts for psychology and emotional nuance with his talents as a reader and critic, in incomparably elegant prose.” —Gregory Cowles, New York Times

“[T]his gentle, immersive book holds literary scholarship to be a heartfelt, heavenly pursuit.” —Washington Post

“Tóibín’s portraits are often moving, always interesting and made [one] tearful.” —Sunday Times

“[T]here is something interesting and insightful to be found on almost every page.” —The Guardian Expand reviews