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Publisher's Summary

Mickey Donnelly is smart, which isn't a good thing in his part of town. Despite having a dog called Killer and being in love with the girl next door, everyone calls him gay. He dreams of going to America, taking Wee Maggie and Ma with him to get them away from Belfast and Da.

Mickey realises it's all down to him. He has to protect Ma from herself. And sometimes, you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.

©2015 Paul McVeigh (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A vivid, poignant and thrilling tale of troubled boyhood, The Good Son is a lot better than good - it's outstanding." (Toby Litt)
"A highly commendable debut, convincing in its realism." ( Independent)
"Mickey is the funniest, most endearing human being for whom we feel huge compassion as he faces each adversity. This novel envelops the reader with its humanity and its down-to-earth humour leaves you laughing." ( Booktrust)

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Profile Image for Cathy Jo Cress
  • Cathy Jo Cress
  • 05-09-2016

Slice of the troubles both Funny and masterfully written

I loved the preteen view of chaos and family bonds held tight while living in a zone . The protagonist is funny, warm and clueless yet full of ways to navigate around bombs Protestants religious boundaries, girls , sex , bi sexual confusion alcoholic Dad's , bully's and his blistering , heroic Mom . I loved it

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  • K Kip
  • 15-10-2017

Wonderful book

Loved this book. Captured perfectly Belfast at a time of the peak of the troubles. And yet never depressing.
A wonderful depiction of a young boy on the cusp of adolescence and all that that entails.
A mix of tension, pathos, raw humour and sheer joy.
Compared to Stand by Me and I can see why.

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  • Kilian
  • 19-09-2021

Good story, good narrator, but TERRIBLE production

This was an enjoyable story set in Northern Ireland during the troubles and it was quite right that the author should read the story. However the changes in volume up and down were incredibly annoying. Sometimes he whispered and the next moment he shouted. This really was a bad production of a very good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miles
  • 24-09-2017

Book of the year

Loved this. Really connected with Mickey, the protagonist and the narration, by the author, was very special

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hugh M. Clarke
  • 01-02-2022

Excellent story. Well read.

I really enjoyed this book, and the reading. It is a good story about an 11-year-old boy, on the fringes of most social groups, trying to find belonging. He is very amusing and very perceptive and intelligent, but his family cannot afford for him to go to grammar school and he drains the alternative. I listened to the book shortly after watching the new film by Kenneth Branagh, called “Belfast“. Both have an authenticity. I don’t normally like writers reading their own material, but Paul McVeigh does a very good job and his accents and inflections are without flaw.

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  • Jo C
  • 22-09-2020

Masterful storytelling

Such a rare and brilliantly crafted story, narrated beautifully by the author. This one will stay with me for a long time.

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Profile Image for J. F. Wrin
  • J. F. Wrin
  • 26-05-2020

I loved every single minute of this.

Narrated brilliantly. Written with humour and great insight. I would recommend to anyone, especially those with Irish roots in their near past, or now. Some poo arts had me really laughing.

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  • J HIGGINS
  • 06-10-2016

I could relate to a lot of this book, great fun

If you are over 50 and working class from Belfast this should pretty much be your life

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Profile Image for Nicky D
  • Nicky D
  • 29-09-2016

Wonderful story

I adored this book. Great characters, wonderful dialogue. Funny, sad, brilliant. Five massive stars from me.

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