“Ireland’s most brilliant storyteller”
Chairperson: Róisín Ingle
Joseph O’Connor’s breakthrough novel, the multi-award-winning Star of the Sea, was a gripping story of murder and betrayal set on a famine ship bound for America. His new novel, every bit as epic in scale, traces a very different kind of voyage. When Irish teenager Robbie Goulding meets Fran Mulvey, an orphaned Vietnamese refugee, at college in 1980s Luton, they form a band, The Ships in the Night. Joined by cellist Sarah-Thérèse Sherlock and her brother Seán on drums, the foursome set out in search of fame. But the story of this makeshift family is haunted by ghosts from the past. Spanning 25 years and two continents, from Glastonbury to the Hollywood Bowl and on to a fateful Dublin night in 2012, The Thrill of it All is a story of loyalty and friendship, the call of the muse, and the beguiling shimmer of teenage dreams, set to an evocative soundtrack of blues, ska, new wave and punk.