Friday, March 17, 2017

The Origins of Benjamin Hackett Gerald M. O'Connor @SDSXXTours @GeraldMOConnor










The Origins of Benjamin Hackett
by Gerald M. O'Connor
Genre: Coming Of Age
All families have secrets. Most go untold…

In the summer of
‘96, Benjamin Hackett has come of age, technically. And in the
midst of the celebratory hangover, his world is whipped out from
under his feet. His parents have finally shared their lifelong secret
with him; he’s adopted.
At the age of 18, the boy still has
some growing up to do, and with the help of JJ, his loquacious
consigliore and bodyguard, he embarks on an adventure that’ll put
to bed a lifetime of lies.
Over the course of five days, they
find themselves caught up in the darker side of Cork. But when they
sweep through the misfits blocking their way and finally discover the
truth of it…now that’s the greatest shock of all.


The Origins of Benjamin Hackett
is a tender tale of heartache and displacement told through a wry and
courageous voice. Set in Ireland, it’s a timely reminder that the
world hasn’t moved on just as fast as we fancy. Now, in this
emotionally charged story, Gerald M. O’Connor explores conditioned
guilt and its consequences in a country still hiding from the sins of
its past.

O’Connor’s book draws on a time when the Catholic Church in Ireland would
quietly take children from mothers in convents and Magdalene
Laundries and deposit them into new homes, making it nearly
impossible for these kids to find their real parents. Attempts by
children to find their birth parents were often blocked by a dark web
of secrecy and bureaucracy that, in many ways, still continues to
haunt the country today.

Brimming with unfathomable escapades, a motley crew of characters and a
healthy serving of Irish humor, O’Connor’s book is steeped in
Irish culture told in the inimitable Corkman’s brogue. Set in a
time before the chaos of modern digital culture, The
Origins of Benjamin Hackett
takes a step back, allowing space for readers to escape and think
about the realities of growing up in a family founded on a lie. In
his stylish debut, O’Connor shows an amazing ability to paint
heartbreak and longing that will keep readers thinking about The
Origins of Benjamin Hackett
long after they finish the story.


Advance Praise For
The Origins of Benjamin Hackett


“‘The Origins of Benjamin Hackett’ by Gerald O'Connor is a raucous and
riotous coming-of-age story that is brutal, tender and hilarious.”

Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir and Guns of Brixton

“O’Connor doles out killer dialogue that adds oodles of character to this
hero’s journey. Told with the lilt and panache of Joseph O’Connor
and Dermot Bolger in their novels of the ‘90s, Gerald O’Connor is
the new and improved voice we've been waiting for.”
Gerard Brennan, author of Undercover and Wee Rockets

“Visceral writing that inherits a long Irish tradition. O’Connor’s
narrative contains sharp characterization, and has an assured voice,
while dramatizing conditioned guilt with humor and style.”

Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost
Summer and others

“If you’re expecting the usual coming-of-age tale, you’re in for a
big shock. This is a tale big on heart and one which the author,
Gerald O’Connor, has hied religiously to the advice of Harry Crews
for writers, to ‘leave out the parts readers skip.’ None of those
parts remain in these pages. An auspicious debut!”

– Les Edgerton, author of The Death of Tarpons, The Bitch, The Genuine,
Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping, Bomb and others





Here is a preview of The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M. O’Connor…Chapter 3…

Life was lived in the quiet moments; all the rest was pure bluster. I was paraphrasing of course. I hadn’t the foggiest who’d said those words, or whether they were ever uttered out of the mouth of anyone at all, and if by happenstance they had it probably was more succinct. But the thought cropped up in my head then, watching my dad visibly stutter less than the width of a jab away from me.
“There’s no way in hell I’m adopted,” I said.
“You are a bit.”
“You can’t be a bit adopted.”
Dad seemed to consider this for a moment, before shrugging and smiling wanly. “No…I suppose you can’t.”
“This is a pile of unadulterated nonsense. You’re both having a laugh, right? Some twisted revenge for me not applying to college?”
Dad reached inside his shirt pocket, pulled out a manila envelope and laid it on the table. “This,” he said, tapping it twice with his index finger, “contains your adoption certificate. We decided to keep calling you by your birth name, Benjamin. Seemed the correct thing to do at the time.”
“Did it?”
He held up his hand to hush me. “It’s the original document we received the day Father Brogan brought you here and made it all official.” He slid it over to me. “It’s yours now.”
I picked up the envelope and tore it open, unfurling the paper inside and laying it flat on the table. My eyes skimmed over the document, flitting from word to word—adoption, adoptees, dates, signatures and the official diocesan insignia on the envelope. They were all there, all the bureaucratic paraphernalia of the state and church.
I held his stare, neither of us flinching. “Am I really adopted?”
“Yes.”
My throat turned to dust. Call it the formality of the letter, or the way the word cut short on his breath. I thought of Mam’s delicate frame and barley-blonde hair. We looked nothing alike. But Dad? He was meant to be the exception. We both towered over her. We both had lanky frames. Hell, we even shared that same terrible torture of walking on long, flat feet that no shoe, no matter the cut or cobbler, could fit comfortably.






GERALD M. O’CONNOR is a native Corkonian, currently living in Dublin with
his long-term partner, Rosemarie, along with their three children. He
writes character-driven novels of various genres by night and is a
dentist by day. When he isn’t glued to the keyboard, he enjoys
sci-fi films, spending time with his family and being anywhere in
sight of the sea. He is currently working on his second novel, The
Tanist.

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