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SKU: 9781844885978 Categories: , , Tag: Author: PJ GallagherPublication Date: 2nd Nov 2023Format: PaperbackPages: 320Publisher: Sandycove


Nothing about PJ Gallagher’s life has followed the usual script. Born in a motherand-baby home, he arrived in Dublin at six-months and spent much of his childhood knocking back Lucozade with the local alcoholics in his parents’ northside pub. But the chaos that reigned for his first ten years was as nothing compared to what happened when – having lost the pub – his mother took in psychiatric patients from the local hospital to give them ‘care in the community’. Now it was a household of ten – PJ, his sister, his parents and six lost souls.
Worst. Idea. Ever.

Madhouse is the riotous story of PJ’s early life. The fantasies that come with being adopted. Being a kid when the adults around you are having a non-stop party, when not obsessing about God (the stay in Camp Jesus when he thought they were going to Trabolgan – he’s still recovering from that). His utter disinterest in school. Discovering his talent for comedy and creating iconic characters like Jake Stevens, the Dirty Aul One and Jumper Man on Naked Camera.

PJ also writes powerfully about mental breakdown and what he learned from his spell in a psychiatric hospital. Most surprising – to PJ more than anyone – is the prospect of becoming a dad in his late forties, when he always thought ‘family’ was a dirty word and avoided commitment.

Madhouse is the quirky, funny and moving story of someone just trying to keep his head above water – and how he is finally making sense of it all!