Fear and Loathing in Dublin is Aodhan Madden's unforgiving and honest, sometimes melancholic but often blackly funny recollection of his struggles as a young man grappling with his with his sexuality and the cold comfort that alcohol provided.
Starting his writing career as a journalist with The Irish Press, he eventually emerged from his dark times as a sucessful playwright, taking many of his themes from his battles with his own demons. In 1970s Dublin, transformation is everywhere: people have money in their pockets and wear the latest fashions. But in the pubs and clubs of the city, following the death of his mother, Madden is being crushed by the weight of his closet homosexuality a desperate place for a sensitive young man in that homophobic time and is struggling with alcoholism and paranoid delusions.
After a series of surreal drunken 'adventures' around the city, he checks himself in to St Patrick's Hospital where his own transformation begins. Madden writes movingly of his experiences in St Patrick's hospital, his sometimes dubious friendships with his fellow patients including a drag queen and a murderer and his battles with the authorities and the drink. He tells of how he eventually got his life back on course and launched a successful career as a playwright. Finally, he writes with great tenderness about his father, who lovingly stood by him through the worst of his troubles.
This bleakly comic memoir, reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, makes for gripping, enthralling reading from the first page to the last.