'I'm Ripley Bogle. I'm the prince of the pavements, I'm the Parkbench King and the cold winds of the outside permanently fleck my flesh. To come with me, you must brave the air and the wide, bare boredom. The vast outdoors is my house and hall. It's with purpose, fear and gratitude that I stalk the streets of the city.'
As the scene shifts from the streets of London, to Oxford and Belfast, the tramp, Ripley Bogle, narrates his gripping and alarming story in which it becomes increasingly difficult to tell what is true and what is fiction.
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An astonishing performance, fluent, profound, angry. It made me laugh; it made me think; it made me envious - Irish Times
Probably one of the best Irish novels to have appared in the last decade. It goes straight for the jugular - The Times
The eponymous antihero of this splendid anti-coming-of-age novel is a classic Irish rogue: handsome, charming, astute, articulate, arrogant, irresponsible, passionate - above all, a chap who can make you laugh three times per page... Underneath all the wordplay, [Wilson] reveals with true eloquence the horrors of growing up during the Troubles - Publishers Weekly
Robert McLiam Wilson was born in Belfast in 1964. Ripley Bogle, his debut, won the Rooney Prize, the Hughes Prize, a Betty Trask Award and the Irish Book Awards. He has written two other novels - Manfred's Pain and Eureka Street -and is also the author of a non-fiction book, The Dispossessed. In 2003, he was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 Best of Young British Novelists.