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The Temporary Gentleman Audiobook, by Sebastian Barry Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sebastian Barry Narrator: Gerard Doyle Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2014 ISBN: 9781482987232
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A stunning new novel from the Man Booker shortlisted author of The Secret Scripture

In this highly anticipated new novel, Irishman Jack McNulty is a “temporary gentleman”—an Irishman whose commission in the British army in WWII was never permanent. Sitting in his lodgings in Accra, Ghana, in 1957, he’s writing the story of his life with desperate urgency. He cannot take one step further without examining all of the extraordinary events that he has seen. A lifetime of war and world travel—as a soldier in WWII, an engineer, a UN observer—has brought him to this point. But the memory that weighs heaviest on his heart is that of the beautiful Mai Kirwan and their tempestuous, heartbreaking marriage. Mai was once the great beauty of Sligo, a magnetic yet unstable woman who, after sharing a life with Jack, gradually slipped from his grasp.

Award-winning author Sebastian Barry’s The Temporary Gentleman is the sixth book in his cycle of separate yet interconnected novels that brilliantly reimagine characters from Barry’s own family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating and moving, The Temporary Gentleman shows Sebastian Barry to be one of our finest novelists—daring, accommodating, and humane.”

    John Banville, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Expanding on characters and events in his preceding novels, Barry tells the story of Jack McNulty, a ‘temporary gentleman’ because his commission in the British Army during World War II wasn’t made permanent…Like Barry’s other characters, Jack McNulty is both noble and terribly flawed. Fans of Roddy Doyle’s Last Roundup trilogy will appreciate this book’s bold lyricism, unforgettable characters, and epic historicism.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “With this complex portrait of a man rooted in his hometown but drawn into a wider warring world, Barry again proves himself a prose artist and a skilled navigator of the rocky shoals of modern morality and Irish heritage.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Gerard Doyle’s sonorous voice provides the perfect complement to Sebastian Barry’s story…Doyle’s narration highlights both the peaks and valleys of McNulty’s tumultuous life, making this a powerful listening experience.”


  • “Much of Jack McNulty’s life has been lost in the fog of alcoholism. What he does remember, though, he sets down in writing from his quarters in mid-1950s Ghana, reviewing with regret his path through a troubled marriage and a war…Although McNulty is not a man to be admired, the raw elegance of his storytelling has its own beauty. The Temporary Gentleman is an arresting account of self-deception and the power of will to pretend all is well, even as the bottom falls out.”


  • “Pensive, quietly lyrical novel by Irish writer Barry, the sixth in a series of books whose stories are separate yet connected…A beautifully written story of a love lost, and inevitably so.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Sebastian Barry, named Irish fiction laureate in 2018, is a playwright and author whose novels include A Long Long Way, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, as was The Secret Scripture, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Irish Novel of the Year. Hisplays have been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York.

About the Narrator

Gerard Doyle, a seasoned audio narrator, he has been awarded dozens of AudioFile Earphones Awards, was named a Best Voice in Young Adult Fiction in 2008, and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He was born of Irish parents and raised and educated in England. In Great Britain he has enjoyed an extensive career in both television and repertory theater and toured nationally and internationally with the English Shakespeare Company. He has appeared in London’s West End in the gritty musical The Hired Man. In America he has appeared on Broadway in The Weir and on television in New York Undercover and Law & Order. He has taught drama at Ross School for the several years.