A Monk Swimming
The first reaction to Malachy's memoir is inevitably that he's trying to cash in on the fame of his brother, Frank, the writer who penned the best-selling, multi-award-winning Angela's Ashes. Not true. Malachy has his own story to tell. And what a story it is. Though A Monk Swimming is not as lyrical as Ashes, it is just as colorful, and Malachy's exploits are indeed colorful. He outrageously chronicles his first several years back in the United States in the 1950s and '60s (after growing up in the slums of Limerick), when he lived a boisterous, hedonistic life. His exuberant reminiscences include running a "singles" bar in New York's East Side, appearing as a regular guest on the Tonight show and sleeping with scores of women. A Monk Swimming is not a celebration of this raucous lifestyle; indeed, his excesses were not without consequences.