At college in 1980s Luton, Robbie Goulding, an Irish-born teenager, meets elusive Fran Mulvey, an orphaned Vietnamese refugee. Together they form a band. Joined by cellist Sarah-Therese Sherlock and her twin brother Sean on drums, The Ships in the Night set out to chase fame. But the story of this makeshift family is haunted by ghosts from the past. Spanning 25 years, The Thrill of it All rewinds and fast-forwards through an evocative soundtrack of struggle and laughter. Infused with blues, ska, classic showtunes, New Wave and punk, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries, the tale stretches from suburban England to Manhattan's East Village, from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl, from the meadows of the Glastonbury festival to a wintry Long Island, culminating in a Dublin evening in July 2012, a night that changes everything. A story of loyalties, friendship, the call of the muse, and the beguiling shimmer of teenage dreams, this is a warm-hearted, funny and deeply moving vel for anyone that's ever loved a song.
Joseph O'Connor was born in Dublin. His books include seven previous novels: Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Desperadoes, The Salesman, Inishowen, Star of the Sea (American Library Association Award, Irish Post Award for Fiction, France's Prix Millepages, Italy's Premio Acerbi, Prix Madeleine Zepter for European novel of the year), Redemption Falls and Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book Novel 2011). His fiction has been published in forty languages. He received the 2012 Irish PEN Award for outstanding achievement in literature and in 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. www.josephoconnorauthor.com
Shortlisted for Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2014. Long-listed for IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2016.