This is a rich novel, narrated by young Paddy Maguire, of his life growing into young adulthood in a Dublin slum of the late 1930s and 40s Ireland. Consider it a Dublin version of The Catcher in the Rye with lustful, lusty, thirsty, hard-working Paddy–a character as memorable as Holden Caulfield or Studs Lonigan–drolly detailing his adventurous adolescence. Goodbye to the Hill tells the story of a young man desperate to escape the confines of poverty and stifling mores, yet is an uplifting story, peppered with picaresque incidents, colourful language, and captures the delightful humour that transcends the hard times of Dublin’s inner city life.
Lee Dunne was born in 1934, and after early years working as a stage performer and barman/cabbie in London he had first and most successful novel Goodbye to the Hill published in 1965. A dramatised version was produced in 1978 and Dunne has written many radio scripts, plays, television scripts and films. In Ireland, Goodbye to the Hill was a cause celebre of the time because of its explicit sexual content and its honest portrayal of the other side of leafy Rathmines – the squalor and poverty of the tenements of the “Hill” Lee Dunne has rejoiced in the title of the most banned author in Ireland, starting with his novel Paddy Maguire is Dead, chronicling the spiraling decent into alcoholism of its eponymous character and his redemption. The film based on Goodbye to the Hill was also banned together with his film Wedding Night, a touching and insightful look at a young couple’s struggle with sexual intimacy. His “cabbie” novel Midnight Cabbie (1976) was the last book to be banned by the infamous 1929 censorship act. He was most notably the voice associated with the suppressed voice of 1950s Ireland with his novel Does Your Mother being selected as the quintessential novel of 50’s Dublin and he received critical acclaim for A Bed in the Sticks as a sequel to Goodbye to the Hill. He continues to write into the 21st century and lives with his wife in Greystones, Co Wicklow, Ireland