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'If I die,' Egan Welch wrote in a note to his father, 'it is not alcohol that killed me. It's something else.' Kicking the Black Mamba is an unforgettable many-layered story of the death of a son. It is a vivid, haunting personal tragedy, but Welch explores its roots in generations of Irish lives scarred by shame and disgrace, and reflects on the lawless energies that may be unleashed now that the constraining institutions and rituals of church and magic have lost their hold on people's minds. It is a frightening confession of a man who fears his own complicity in his son's alcohol addiction. But it is also a love story, the story of 'a boy's love for his father, and a father's helpless love for his son.'
Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd
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