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Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland
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Random House Publishing Group 2010
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Frank Delaney's The Matchmaker of Kenmare.
January 1932: Ben MacCarthy and his father watch a vagabond variety revue making a stop in the Irish countryside. After a two-hour kaleidoscope of low comedy, juggling, tumbling, and other entertainments, Ben’s father, mesmerized by Venetia Kelly, the troupe’s magnetic headliner, makes a fateful decision: to abandon his family and set off on the road with Miss Kelly and her caravan. Ben’s mother, shattered by the desertion, exhorts, “Find him and bring him back,” thereby sending the boy on a Homeric voyage into manhood.
Interweaving a host of unforgettable creations—“King” Kelly, Venetia’s violent, Mephistophelean grandfather; Sarah Kelly, Venetia’s mysterious, amoral mother; and even a truth-telling ventriloquist’s dummy named Blarney—Frank Delaney unfurls a splendid narrative that spans half the world and a tumultuous decade.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/23/2010
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781588369734
ASIN:
B0036S4BJE

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Frank Delaney. (2010). Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Frank Delaney. 2010. Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Frank Delaney, Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland. Random House Publishing Group, 2010.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Frank Delaney. Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland. Random House Publishing Group, 2010.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • bioText: Frank Delaney is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Ireland, as well as The Last Storyteller, The Matchmaker of Kenmare, Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show, Tipperary, Shannon, and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. A former judge for the Man Booker Prize, Delaney enjoyed a prominent career in BBC broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer. Delaney died in 2017.
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Random House
publishDate
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title
Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show
fullDescription
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Frank Delaney's The Matchmaker of Kenmare.
January 1932: Ben MacCarthy and his father watch a vagabond variety revue making a stop in the Irish countryside. After a two-hour kaleidoscope of low comedy, juggling, tumbling, and other entertainments, Ben’s father, mesmerized by Venetia Kelly, the troupe’s magnetic headliner, makes a fateful decision: to abandon his family and set off on the road with Miss Kelly and her caravan. Ben’s mother, shattered by the desertion, exhorts, “Find him and bring him back,” thereby sending the boy on a Homeric voyage into manhood.
Interweaving a host of unforgettable creations—“King” Kelly, Venetia’s violent, Mephistophelean grandfather; Sarah Kelly, Venetia’s mysterious, amoral mother; and even a truth-telling ventriloquist’s dummy named Blarney—Frank Delaney unfurls a splendid narrative that spans half the world and a tumultuous decade.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: "Weaving Irish vaudeville and politics of the 1930s into a mix both delightful and astonishing, Frank Delaney devises an engaging saga that will captivate listeners. ... The account is magically intimate and emotionally real. Delight in Delaney's feast of hilarious, improbable details; side-story digression taken to a new art form; and memorable characters."
      • premium: False
      • source: Margaret Flanagan
      • content: "Delaney pulls out all the stops as he tips his hat to two great and all but indistinguishable Irish traditions:
        the theater and politics. Readers will be enchanted as the author spins a tale so glib, so charming, and so
        amusing that--begorrah--you can almost imagine him slyly winking as he kisses the Blarney Stone. Set in
        Ireland in the politically tumultuous 1930s, this rollicking tale, chockfull of Irish wit, superstition, and
        sentiment, features a larger-than-life cast of suitably eccentric characters. When 18-year-old Ben
        McCarthy, is dispatched by his mother to fetch home his wayward father, he embarks on an odyssey so
        wonderfully strange, all-encompassing, and ultimately tragic that it will effectually define his entire life.
        After Papa McCarthy, a staid and gentlemanly soul, does something as wildly out of character as fall for a
        beautiful and charming young actress, Ben, too, is irresistibly drawn into the giddy orbit of Venetia Kelly
        and her...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 25, 2010
        Add “compare Amazon rankings” to the things husband and wife Frank Delaney and Diane Meier will be doing this spring.
        Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show
        Frank Delaney
        . Random
        , $26 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6783-1

        A digressive story set in 1930s Ireland, Delaney’s latest (after Shannon
        ) chronicles the travels and travails of 18-year-old Ben as he is dispatched by his mother to track down his wayward father, who left the family to pursue a mysterious actress. Ben enters into the search with trepidation, but he perseveres, driven by his love for his father and his wish to restore his parents’ heretofore loving marriage. Following Venetia’s show from town to town, Ben gets an education—about his father as a person in his own right, about Irish politics and society, about love and evil, and, inevitably, about himself. Threaded throughout are digressions into Irish history and politics as well as explorations of Irish folklore. This hybrid quest saga, bildungsroman, and grassroots view of Ireland in its post–civil war era is immersive and enjoyable, and it showcases Delaney’s talent for inventive metaphor, which he manipulates with an expert hand.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 15, 2010
        Set against the backdrop of the political and social turmoil of 1932 Ireland, Delaney's latest novel opens with young Ben McCarthy's father abandoning the farm to join a traveling theater troupe. Devastated, Ben's mother sends him off to bring his father home. He finds the troupe and falls in love with the same young actress who seduced his father. Venetia is a stunning young woman, the child of a famous actress and a villainous political opportunist named King Kelly. Furious that his daughter's affairs with common farm folk might tarnish his political aspirations, Kelly plots revenge against the McCarthys. In the manner of Greek tragedy, he steals their farm, has them set upon by political mobsters, destroys the troupe, and robs himself of the love of his life. VERDICT Delaney ("Shannon") is a master storyteller, and this expansive tale of politics, tragedy, and revenge is Irish storytelling at its best. Full of vibrant, well-crafted characters and satisfyingly high drama, it will appeal to fans of sweeping Irish sagas. [See "Prepub Exploded," "BookSmack!" 10/15/09.]Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA

        Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2010
        Delaney pulls out all the stops as he tips his hat to two great and all but indistinguishable Irish traditions: the theater and politics. Readers will be enchanted as the author spins a tale so glib, so charming, and so amusing thatbegorrahyou can almost imagine him slyly winking as he kisses the Blarney Stone. Set in Ireland in the politically tumultuous 1930s, this rollicking tale, chockfull of Irish wit, superstition, and sentiment, features a larger-than-life cast of suitably eccentric characters. When 18-year-old Ben McCarthy, is dispatched by his mother to fetch home his wayward father, he embarks on an odyssey so wonderfully strange, all-encompassing, and ultimately tragic that it will effectually define his entire life. After Papa McCarthy, a staid and gentlemanly soul, does something as wildly out of character as fall for a beautiful and charming young actress, Ben, too, is irresistibly drawn into the giddy orbit of Venetia Kelly and her Traveling Show. Bens bittersweet story plays out against a backdrop of political corruption, personal greed, and high unexpected romance. Expect high demand for this ideal book club selection.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Frank Delaney's The Matchmaker of Kenmare.
January 1932: Ben MacCarthy and his father watch a vagabond variety revue making a stop in the Irish countryside. After a two-hour kaleidoscope of low comedy, juggling, tumbling, and other entertainments, Ben’s father, mesmerized by Venetia Kelly, the troupe’s magnetic headliner, makes a fateful decision: to abandon his family and set off on the road with Miss Kelly and her caravan. Ben’s mother, shattered by the desertion, exhorts, “Find him and bring him back,” thereby sending the boy on a Homeric voyage into manhood.
Interweaving a host of unforgettable creations—“King” Kelly, Venetia’s violent, Mephistophelean grandfather; Sarah Kelly, Venetia’s mysterious, amoral mother; and even a truth-telling ventriloquist’s dummy named Blarney—Frank Delaney unfurls a splendid narrative that spans half the world and a...
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