The Ginger Man  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The Ginger Man is a 1955 novel by J. P. Donleavy. First published in Paris at Olympia Press, the novel is set in Ireland just after World War II. Upon its publication, it was banned in the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America for obscenity. In 2006, the book was rumored to be adapted to film by Laurence Dunmore (The Libertine), Johnny Depp playing the protagonist.

Plot introduction

It follows the often racy misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American living in Dublin with his English wife and infant daughter and studying law at Trinity College.

This book may be considered part of the fictionalised roar of the end of the Second World War hiatus also represented by the colossi of American literature: John Dos Passos, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. Dangerfield is an American Protestant of Irish descent, commonly believed to be a thinly fictionalised version of the author, but who is in fact more broadly based on not only Donleavy's life but also those of his cohorts at Trinity College. The hero, Dangerfield, is a portrayal of lifelong bohemian and friend of Donleavy, Gainor Stephen Crist, as told by the author in "A History of The Ginger Man".

The book gives us the map of the terra incognita of late 1950s sexual encounters in Dublin and Donleavy's later books spell out the aftermath (particularly A Fairy Tale of New York, which later inspired Shane MacGowan's song "Fairytale of New York", recorded by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl).


The book is rumored to hit the silver screen for the first time with Johnny Depp playing the protagonist. The director will be Laurence Dunmore of The Libertine fame. Newcomer Adam Hurley is also slated to play a large supporting role.

Inspired drinkeries

This book is the inspiration for several taverns in Ireland and the United States. A Gingerman pub is located in Dublin near Trinity. Four connected pubs (though no longer commonly owned), approved of and visited by Donleavy, are located in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Manhattan. The Manhattan pub's franchise has been extended to include locations in Greenwich and Norwalk, CT. A seventh American Gingerman pub is located in Chicago. Also existing is The Ginger Man restaurant in Albany, New York. There are two Ginger Man restaurants in Brighton, UK.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Ginger Man" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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