Binchy, Dan 1940–

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Binchy, Dan 1940–

PERSONAL: Born 1940, in County Limerick, Ireland; married.

ADDRESSES: Home—County Limerick, Ireland. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Thomas Dunne Books, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.

CAREER: Farmer and novelist.

WRITINGS:

The Neon Madonna, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1992.

The Last Resort, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1993.

Fireballs, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Loopy, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Dan Binchy, a cousin to novelist Maeve Binchy, has written several humorous novels set in rural Ireland. The first is The Neon Madonna, in which former Vatican diplomat Jerry O'Sullivan is convalescing in a small Irish village that features a neon-haloed Madonna. The priest finds his new parish rather more lively than expected when two women avow that the icon has moved and shed tears. Small town life, including religious devotion, comes into sharp focus under Binchy's eye. Aside from the humor, a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that "Binchy attempts a full-scale portrait of life in a contemporary Irish hamlet."

In the sequel, The Last Resort, a shifty American businessman named Luke Divareli discovers the fictional town of Brulagh and decides to build a hotel and marina there. Father O'Sullivan is quietly opposed to the plan, and must use his unsuspected knowledge of financing, gained while working at the Vatican Bank, to protect local interests.

Golf is a key element in Loopy, a novel about a young Irish man who finds he has an unsuspected talent on the links. Larry Lynch is struggling with his new responsibility of running the family farm: he has a fine crop of hay but no money to transport it to market. Larry's one relief has been game of hurling, but he is now sidelined by a bruise. When a friend takes Larry out on the local golf course, his hurling form proves to be powerful preparation for the golf swing. Soon Larry is playing in a tournament at Ballykissane, where his luck finally turns. The story was sure to "pique the interest of golf fans," according to Bookreporter.com reviewer Stuart Shiffman. A Kirkus Reviews writer found similarities to stories by the author's famous relative, calling it "Binchyesque to the core."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Loopy, p. 242.

Publishers Weekly, January 1, 1992, review of The Neon Madonna, p. 46; January 25, 1993, review of The Last Resort, p. 78.

ONLINE

Bookreporter.com, http://bookreporter.com/ (August 18, 2005), Stuart Shiffman, review of Loopy.