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Buy my books! I need the money!My new short story collection, The Driving Force, can be got here. And all my other books are selling at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, plus tonnes of other places, real-world and online. Go on, they're all brilliant. And if you don't believe me, just look down below...
Praise for my work
SHIVER THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH
Best Young Adult Books of 2014, Daily Telegraph
Best Books of the Year, Booktopia
Book of the Month, Image Magazine, December 2014
“A dark, enjoyably gruesome read… McManus’s writing is fresh and pacy, but perhaps the best thing about his book is its powerful evocative of a freezing, snow-swept Irish town. Everything from the garlic chips to the slang feels sharply real, while the way in which local history relating to the Irish famine is blended with modern-day action makes for a satisfyingly layered mystery. The inclusion of an atmospheric Spotify playlist is an interesting bonus.” Daily Telegraph
“A compelling, sharply written Gothic love affair that throws an intriguing light onto small-town Irish life and the nature of love, friendship and, crucially, trusting the people around you… McManus paints an increasingly intriguing picture of a young fella who’s sufficiently self-aware to realise that either the dead girl really is reaching out to him, or he is losing his mind… This is one of the best Irish books of the year, regardless of the Young Adult genre…the voice of Aidan Flood, a bright and decent kid whose self-esteem has been shredded by stupidity and malice, remains strong throughout… A novel which deserves to be read by every teenager this Christmas – and everyone who ever was one.” Irish Independent
“The plot/story-line was fascinating and captivating… My favourite part of the book would have to be the final chapter, with its double jaw-dropping plot twist…and the reference at the end of the book to the title was marvellous.” Guardian
“It’s unusual and refreshing to find a paranormal romance told from the point of view of a teenage boy. Aiden’s a sympathetic lead character and engaging narrator. (The book) is a darkly compelling story. The climax came out of left-field for me, and there were some genuine heart-in-the-mouth moments towards the end. Certainly not a conventional tale of teenage love and loss, but one I very much enjoyed.” crimereview.co.uk
“It took me all of two days to read because as soon as I started it I was hooked and just wanted to see what happened next in the spooky Shook Woods.” Blogger's Bookshelf
“A captivatingly dark read which is impossible to put down.” Image magazine
“Combining elements of classic noir detective stories and paranormal fantasy, Shiver the Whole Night Through is a haunting and utterly absorbing murder mystery with a supernatural twist.” Booktopia (Aus)
“Shiver deftly shuffles the cards of realism and fantasy. Exploring authority, redemption and fate, it evocatively trails Aidan along two unconventional tracks: a whodunit and a romance…compassionately examines the theme of teenage loneliness… Aidan and Sláine are endearing, richly-drawn characters… McManus confidently subverts stereotypes (and) charges their relationship with a genuine tenderness… (Animated with) verve and momentum, splattered with pop cultural references, adorned with colloquialisms that underpin the book’s Irish setting… Navigating fantasy, crime, horror and noir mystery with a sureness of touch, McManus leaves Shiver open-ended, suggesting it might be the opening salvo in a gripping series.” Books Ireland
“A supernatural YA thriller that evokes teen years so well that those suffering them will nod while those of us past them will nod with recognition…a thrilling story that grips to the very end… Darragh McManus offers us his first YA novel – and it’s a scorcher. Not only does it cover murder (with an imaginatively killed body-count) and friendship on either side of the grave, there’s a non-slushy, bloke-friendly love story that doesn’t get in the way of the action…if you’re going to give this to a YA relative for Christmas, don’t read it first or you may just hang onto it for yourself.” thebookbag.co.uk
“Humiliated by his girlfriend and persecuted by bullies, Aidan Flood feels life is not worth living. He steps away from death, but his world is now filled with terror and violence, mystery and magic. His little Irish town is set to fall to evil, unless Aidan and Sláine – beautiful, enigmatic and undead – can stop them. I’m no young adult, but really enjoyed this. It’s full of tension and intrigue, and grips from the word go. It cleverly combines the supernatural with important teenage themes. Aidan is a good hero: cool, bright, real. You don’t want to stop reading. It’d be no surprise if this becomes a series – I hope so.” Irish News
“Darragh brings all the finesse of previous adult crime novels, paired with a unique younger voice, creating a thrilling murder mystery with a supernatural edge… Aidan is intelligent, witty and relatable. There are some pretty heavy themes of suicide and bullying, but these darker aspects make it real and compelling. The town has a backstory that’s downright scary, giving a glimpse of the mythical Ireland I love. As a standalone novel it works perfectly well but that’s not to say I don’t want more – there’s a lot more to come in Aidan and Sláine’s story.” Requiem for Readers
“I didn’t particularly like Aidan or have a lot of sympathy for him, but that’s not necessarily bad; it made him more interesting and more believable. He has a best friend, and I liked how their relationship plays out; their conversations were very realistic. Sláine’s a really cool character: complex, interesting, strong… The plot becomes quite surprising towards the end. I thought I’d figured it out, but it took another turn… I read this quickly because I really wanted to know what was going on with the mystery at its centre. Mostly I loved the Irish setting, the type of characters, the relationship between Aidan and his family. There’s also a little Irish history, which is right up my street. Lots of contemporary cultural references, paired with this old, mythical Ireland of ice and snow and the supernatural, which was really nice. A really interesting book, it held my attention the whole way through. Thoroughly recommended.” Candysomething, YouTube vlogger
“I teach teenagers, and had such empathy and understanding for Aidan as a lost boy; clever and sensitive, honest, struggling to be the man the world expects him to be. I saw him as real and genuine, therefore went with the supernatural elements of the story and certainly enjoyed it. Secondary characters were also three-dimensional, particularly Podsy who reminded me of friends I had. The heroine, ethereal Sláine, was equally layered – much more complex than I anticipated. As with YA fiction there’s a great thundering plot and explosive climax, but McManus never loses touch with the characters and we never lose empathy for them. I’ve read all McManus’ fiction and this is by far the best!” goodreads.com
“From the first page, I was completely absorbed…Darragh McManus has captured a unique and real-feeling voice (and) Aidan felt like a very realistic person. I really enjoyed how the plot progressed; lots of great foreshadowing and hints as to what was coming. Overall I really enjoyed Shiver The Whole Night Through. I was well and truly hooked…a brilliant read for those who want to curl up with a thrilling and chilly story.” The Bibliomaniac
“Aidan has become a victim of the schoolyard jungle, subject to physical, verbal and cyber abuse…the reader cannot help but sympathise with his hideous situation and hope things change. The book also explores the notion of revenge and, given readers’ sympathy for Aidan, invites us to consider the morality of such actions. The story is not without light-hearted moments; Aidan's sometimes black sense of humour provides relief from the intensity of the plot. This is Darragh's first Young Adult book and would have appeal for disciples of this genre.” Read Plus
“A total must-buy, must-read. I would have given the novel much more than five stars if I could have. This is one of the best supernatural stories I have read. I was deeply touched by Aidan Flood: bullied at school, leading him to want to take his own life. Teens and adults will fly through pages. I highly recommend Shiver to all readers; this is a fabulous novel to buy for someone.” ireadnovels.wordpress.com
“Dark and eerie, this is the perfect noir read.” Woman’s Way
“Darragh McManus brings an Irish flavour to supernatural teen fiction in Shiver the Whole Night Through. (He) paints an atmospheric picture of the rural locale, and the eerie forest, Shook Woods – the ‘Ground Zero for spookiness’ – that lies at the heart of this mystery. A famine backstory adds subtext and texture.” Sunday Business Post
“Wow, what a powerful book. The story is a little dark and ‘edge of seat’. The first chapter had me wondering just what I had picked up (but) I soon discovered I couldn’t put it down…I read late into the night. His writing transported me to a very unnerving place in Ireland… The story touches on Irish history and folklore, and has some very surprising twists. If read in a classroom it would raise healthy discussion; I found it thought provoking on serious matters like suicide, bullying, revenge. Characters are fully formed and support the main character well. The story gives room for sequels and I’m sure each would be enjoyable – in fact, I see a movie.” Buzz Words Magazine
THE POLKA DOT GIRL
“McManus has created a fascinating, and richly detailed, alternate all-female universe; you are well into the gripping mystery before you realise there are no men…Eugenie Auf der Maur is a brilliantly evoked amalgam of pulp heroes such as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, all hardboiled attitude and wisecracking lip…It’s a brilliant idea and McManus carries it off with style.” Irish Independent
“In a genre dominated by men, and the femmes fatale who existentially torture them, McManus has chosen to make women the sole gender in his latest mystery…(he) has the lingo and tempo down pat…a great touch when it comes to the rhythmic development of pursuit scenes, an edge-of-your-seat narration that really moves the story along…there’s a cinematic vibe that is well-wrought and a subtle comic tone that works well: when we do find out whodunit, it comes with a chuckle, which, after all the heart-racing and heartache that came before, is a nice touch.” Evening Herald
“Fantastic set-up…normal hardboiled detective setting – the difference is, this is an all-woman cast…very tapped into that Chandler/Hammett style…also brings in elements of classical mythology…Genie is quite endearingly vulnerable…(the book is) a very interesting and intriguing addition to the genre.” Arena, RTE Radio 1
“With prose that mimics the style of Chandler and Hamnett, McManus produces a nice double-play: a satire on the masculinist tropes of hardboiled crime fiction at the same time as being an enjoyable hardboiled tale. The story itself rattles along a fair clip with plenty of tension and twists and feints, the dialogue is spot-on and there are some nice observational touches…an interesting and entertaining story that spins a unique take on the genre and is a must for those who enjoy their crime fiction with a satirical twist.” The View from the Blue House
“McManus has a wonderfully pronounced sense of quirk…this time he takes us to Hera, a woman-only city with no explanation as to its matriarchal status; it just is…ripples of subtle humour veining the pages…as a detective story I loved it…overall the experiment would make Raymond Chandler’s ghost proud due to the quality of the writing and the essence of the story itself.” thebookbag.co.uk
“McManus’ novel has plenty of charm and humour, and raises rousing points about society… Disdain for misogynist yuppies steams off the page; the prose hisses and spits about the horror and injustices of the sex trade… In the end, like (Danny) Everard, you may not like everything here, but you’ve got to admire its guts.” Sunday Times
“With their literary obsessions and elegant attire, the 3W Gang are not your ordinary vigilantes...(they) like to be creative when meting out violence to their targets… It would be a rare reader indeed who doesn’t cheer when the tuxedo-clad vigilantes force the creeps out the window. …McManus is a good storyteller. Thanks to snappy, darkly funny prose and a willingness to move the plot along quickly, Even Flow is a consummate page-turner. It asks interesting questions about vigilantism and whether it can ever be justified. The 3W Gang is an intriguing creation – a sort of Baader-Meinhof urban guerrilla unit for a new generation.” Irish Independent
“A great novel which makes the reader empathise with the enigmatic 3W gang... Darragh McManus is able to construct a well written and endearing yarn. The plot is well-executed and manages to illuminate all sides of the argument... Even Flow is a good story, and more than that it has an original execution that makes it worth the price of purchase...we were pleased with what we read and quickly grew to enjoy McManus’ turn of phrase.” So So Gay magazine
“The novel starts with a bang, with a man hanging from the top of a building. Quickly, the story picks up speed as the men crash a party to save a pair of prostitutes from something they hadn’t signed up for – and that’s just the first chapter… Dark but well-humoured, with a pace that will quicken your heart rate with each chapter.” Huffington Post
“Darragh McManus has written something just that little bit different…a highly entertaining thriller with one dimension more than some thrillers can boast… If you want to chill over a ripping read then Even Flow delivers as well as Lee Child; it’s just as action packed and atmospherically tense…(not) the sort of book you only read once.” thebookbag.co.uk
“A very well thought out and tightly woven novel…the reader will finish anxiously looking forward to Mr McManus’ next book…impossible to put down and well worth the read.” bookbitch.com
“A fantastic idea (for a book)…by the end of the second chapter it had completely grabbed me…you get opinions from every side, who all have reasons for their actions…absolutely gripping to the very end, very well-written…I really enjoyed this.” YouTube vlogger candysomething
“The dramatic opening scene sets the tone for a provocative crime thriller. Mixing influences as diverse as Don De Lillo and A Clockwork Orange with The Smiths and Pearl Jam into a cinematic stew, Even Flow centres on the 3W Gang’s unconventional tactics to promote their vision of a tolerant society. Evoking the clipped style of Elmore Leonard, Even Flow is marked by its filmic descriptions.” irishcentral.com
“(Even Flow) trips along with the pace of an indie flick, is peppered with emails, newspaper clippings, DIY cartoons, and zine pages, and tells the story of a gang who use viral videos, cult song-lyrics, Banksy-like murals and all the new communication technology available to them to advertise their deeds. Coming in at 200 fast-paced pages, Even Flow is a quick read…a short, sharp shock.” Gay Community News
“McManus’s book has some clever moments and the conceit is engaging...poses some interesting philosophical questions... There’s plenty of promise and it’ll be interesting to see what he produces later.” Sunday Business Post
“Even Flow is difficult to categorise...once it clicked into place the pages just flew-by. The second half of the story is especially strong as the action, dialogue and politics all get ratcheted-up, and it has a very nice noir ending...what makes this a fun and engaging read is the plot and politics. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes their noir to have a deeper message.” theviewfromthebluehouse.
“A startling reinvention of the genre…evocatively cinematic…remarkably vivid…the book is intelligent, quirky and thought-provoking…one can only hope this novel becomes the movie it is destined to be, and the author develops some of these characters into their own franchise. More please.” 5-star amazon.com reader review
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November 3rd, 2013 at 7:14 pm
Where are you, bud? Been a long time since you were on Twitter. Are you thinking of coming back? There are so many social media sites these days that I try to stick to the one or two – for me just Twitter and Goodreads.
Best wishes and good luck now.
December 7th, 2021 at 7:55 pm
“Where have all the adults gone?”
Just read your article in spiked and couldn’t agree more. Finally someone has said it, i thought i was the only one who had noticed.
I live in australia and i think it may be even worse here (the latest recycling advert with talking cartooon bottles talking in soppy voices springs to mind).
I find radio unbearable to listen to due to the fact that every DJ’s target audience seem to be brain damaged children as they giggle like schoolgirls for hours on end over stupid inanities.
Its creepy and its getting creepier.
I am grateful you have brought attention to this.
January 18th, 2022 at 10:53 am
Hi Paul, thanks so much for your comment, and sorry for my tardy reply. Hopefully there are more mature people around than we think, and they are waking up to this creepy infantile nonsense!
August 18th, 2022 at 3:16 am
Wow! You’re brutal on memoir writers. But I have to admit, I do agree with a good many of your observations. My eighth book, in progress, is a memoir. But the approach is not about me, but the people who impressed me some way along the road. I would hope it transcends the faults you identify–published excerpts have been very well received. Anyway, your piece was thought provoking! Thanks for that.
August 18th, 2022 at 10:17 am
Thanks Mark. I hope the book goes well for you anyway, regardless of what I personally might feel about the genre…
October 3rd, 2022 at 8:25 pm
Sep 29, 2022, 11:55 AM (4 days ago)
Dear Mr. McManus,
I went on your website to find this commentary of yours ( I Hate Memoirs) and it appears it is not on your site. I read it about a month ago I think and was fascinated with how closely I agreed with it even though I have in fact written a memoir.
Perhaps my reaction has something to do with growing up in an Irish ghetto in Brooklyn NY where my grandmother — born in Ireland— and my mother had total disdain for anyone using the self-referential I. So strong was their influence I was unable to write in the first person and used Salmon Rushdie’s trick of writing in the third person. The story follows Robert Lowell’s suggestion “Why not say what happened” and leaves out the hindsight reflections. Consequently agents don’t want it. They are looking for the solopsism and banality. Because of sentiments like yours, I haven’t published it but more and more I am getting pressure from friends and family to “put it on Amazon.” I thought if I shared your comments it might help me explain my reluctance. BTW I am 83 living in Alaska with my husband Dan and have only been to Ireland once to visit cousins in Cavan and Clare and walk the Dingle Peninsula. I wish I could return.
Could you send me a link or a copy to “I Hate Memoirs”. Thank you
October 24th, 2022 at 4:27 am
Just read your “Rise of the spin-off” piece on spiked and i would like to say “bravo!” i have been saying this for years but you phrased it beautifully. I thought i was the only one who had noticed,.
Keep up the good work,
Paul S. Inglis
October 24th, 2022 at 10:08 am