best tracker Skip to main content

In this audiobook review, we take a journey through the pages of Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies.” Set in modern-day Ireland, this darkly comic tale explores themes of crime, family, and redemption. McInery’s award-winning novel presents a stark portrayal of society, immersing readers in the complexities of life in Ireland’s gritty streets. Join us as we dive into the intricacies of this captivating audiobook, exploring the narrative style, themes, character development, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies” is a darkly comic audiobook that explores themes of crime, family, and redemption.
  • The novel delves into the complexities of modern-day Ireland, offering a stark portrayal of society that immerses readers in the gritty streets of Cork.
  • The book’s engaging narrative style, dynamic characters, and thought-provoking themes contribute to its literary significance and critical acclaim.
  • The audiobook format enhances the experience of consuming the book, showcasing the power of narration and performance when it comes to immersing listeners in the story.
  • “The Glorious Heresies” showcases the impact and cultural relevance of contemporary literature, contributing to the portrayal of Ireland in fiction and inspiring readers and future writers.

Introduction to “The Glorious Heresies”

Step into the streets of modern-day Ireland with Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies.” This darkly comic audiobook takes listeners on a literary journey through the intricate lives of a group of interwoven characters. Set against the backdrop of Cork, Ireland, we are introduced to five main characters who are grappling with themes of crime, family, and redemption.

Through skillful storytelling, McInerney weaves a tale rich in Irish culture, humor, and emotion. The audiobook’s unique narrative style keeps listeners engaged from start to finish, with captivating storytelling and vivid imagery.

Main Characters and Plot

“The Glorious Heresies” introduces five main characters, each with a unique backstory and role in the novel. These include:

  • Ryan Cusack – a young man who finds himself caught up with a dangerous gang
  • Maureen Phelan – an accidental killer who becomes entangled with Ryan and his world
  • Jimmy Phelan – Maureen’s estranged son who returns to Cork as a successful businessman
  • Tony Cusack – Ryan’s alcoholic father who struggles with addiction and past secrets
  • Georgie – a prostitute who befriends Maureen and provides a sounding board for her inner turmoil

The plot revolves around the accidental killing of an intruder in Maureen’s home and the aftermath that ensues. As the characters’ lives intertwine and secrets come to light, they are forced to confront their past mistakes and struggles, ultimately seeking redemption in their own ways.

“The Glorious Heresies is a masterclass in storytelling. It sings with Lisa McInerney’s unique Irish voice and radiates with compassion and laughter, but still manages to keep its feet planted squarely in the grit of modern Cork.” – Dalkey Book Festival

The Writing Style of Lisa McInerney

In “The Glorious Heresies,” Lisa McInerney showcases her exceptional writing style, drawing readers into the gritty, complex world of modern-day Ireland. McInerney’s use of language, dialogue, and descriptive imagery bring the characters and settings to life and contribute to the overall tone of the audiobook.

One notable aspect of McInerney’s writing is her skillful use of vernacular, capturing the unique language and rhythms of the Irish people. This adds authenticity to the story and further immerses the reader in the world of the novel.

Additionally, McInerney has a keen eye for detail and uses descriptive imagery to create vivid settings and characters. Her prose is both engaging and thought-provoking, providing deeper insights into the themes of the novel.

“‘You don’t know how lucky you are,’ said the old woman, grabbing his wrist. ‘Young and carefree in this city, where there’s plenty of you around and little to do except enjoy yourselves. But it’ll catch up. Christ only knows how, but fifty years hence you’ll be screaming and bawling the same way the rest of us are now – or you’ll be dead. And then where’ll we all be?’”

McInerney’s writing style also contributes to the overall darkly comic tone of “The Glorious Heresies.” Her witty dialogue and wry observations add moments of levity to an otherwise bleak story, creating a unique and engaging narrative.

Themes Explored in “The Glorious Heresies”

Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies” delves into several thought-provoking themes that make it a captivating audiobook. From the examination of morality to the exploration of Irish society, the audiobook offers an in-depth look into several complex issues.

One of the primary themes in the audiobook is guilt and redemption. McInerney examines how the characters deal with the consequences of their actions and how they attempt to make amends for their mistakes. This theme is prevalent throughout the novel and adds a layer of depth to the characters and their motivations.

The audiobook also explores the complexities of Irish society, from the struggles of working-class families to the pervasive influence of the Catholic Church. McInerney’s portrayal of Ireland is both frank and insightful, offering a glimpse into a society that has been shaped by a myriad of historical and cultural factors.

“The Glorious Heresies” also touches on the themes of family and community. The characters are all interconnected, and their relationships with each other are a significant aspect of the novel. McInerney examines the role of family in shaping our identities and how it can both empower and constrain us.

“The Glorious Heresies” is more than just a crime novel. It’s a poetic and insightful portrayal of Ireland and its people, exploring the complexities and contradictions of the country with wit and humor.

Character Development in “The Glorious Heresies”

One of the most striking features of “The Glorious Heresies” is Lisa McInerney’s ability to portray complex and nuanced characters. Throughout the audiobook, the various characters undergo significant changes, revealing deeper layers to their personalities and motivations.

At the heart of the story is Maureen, who accidentally kills an intruder and tries to cover up the crime. Through her struggles with guilt and the impact of her actions, we see a multifaceted character who is both vulnerable and resilient.

Ryan, the teenage gang member, is another character who undergoes significant growth throughout the novel. As he navigates his place in the world and how he fits into the criminal organization, we see a young man grappling with the harsh realities of life.

Other characters, such as Tony and Georgie, provide their own unique perspectives and challenges, contributing to the overall depth and richness of the narrative.

“McInerney has a way of writing complex characters that feel so authentic and real. I was completely invested in their stories and rooting for them until the very end.” – Goodreads review

Setting the Stage: Ireland in “The Glorious Heresies”

Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies” is set in modern-day Ireland, where the country’s complex history and social dynamics play a significant role in shaping the narrative. From the gritty streets of Cork to the microcosm of Maureen’s apartment block, the author vividly captures the essence of Irish society and culture in her writing.

The novel highlights the social and political tensions that exist in Ireland, from the prevalence of organized crime to the conflict between the Catholic Church’s role in Irish society and the country’s secularization. McInerney explores the various ways in which these issues impact the lives of her characters and adds depth and complexity to the narrative.

Moreover, the setting of the novel also informs the characters themselves, providing a lens through which they view the world around them. For example, Ryan’s involvement in a gang is influenced by the societal factors that led him down that path, while Maureen’s struggle with guilt is compounded by the morality she was raised with in Catholic Ireland.

Ireland in The Glorious Heresies

Through her portrayal of Ireland, McInerney creates a vivid backdrop for her story that infuses it with a sense of place and cultural relevance.

Narration and Performance in the Audiobook

The audiobook version of “The Glorious Heresies” offers a unique listening experience that heightens the darkly comic tale of modern Ireland depicted in the novel.

The narrator, Shelley Atkinson, delivers a skillful performance that captures the distinct voices and personalities of the various characters. Her delivery of dialogue brings the story to life, immersing the listener in the gritty world of Cork city and the complexities of its inhabitants.

Atkinson’s ability to enhance the humor in the novel is particularly noteworthy, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the story. The audiobook format also allows for a more immersive listening experience, with atmospheric music and sound effects that enhance the listener’s engagement with the story.

In conclusion, the audiobook version of “The Glorious Heresies” offers a compelling and entertaining way to experience Lisa McInerney’s award-winning novel. Its narration and performance add an extra dimension to the story, making it a must-listen for fans of darkly comic tales set in modern Ireland.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

Since its publication in 2015, “The Glorious Heresies” has received widespread critical acclaim and numerous literary awards.

Award Year Category Recipient
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Winner Lisa McInerney
The Desmond Elliott Prize 2016 Winner Lisa McInerney
The Guardian First Book Award 2015 Shortlisted Lisa McInerney

Lisa McInerney’s debut novel has been hailed as “a supremely confident debut” by The Guardian and “an energetic, sometimes brutal but often hilarious slice of Cork life” by The Irish Times.

“A fierce and funny book”- John Self, The Guardian

With its witty and engaging narrative style, “The Glorious Heresies” has been celebrated as an exciting contribution to contemporary Irish literature.

Reader’s Perspective: Audiobook vs. Print

Consuming “The Glorious Heresies” can be done in both audio and print formats. While there are advantages and limitations to both, the reader’s experience can vary greatly depending on their preferred medium.

For those who enjoy a more immersive experience, the audiobook offers a captivating narration that brings the characters to life. Listening to the story through audio can help readers connect with the characters on a deeper level, thanks to the skilled delivery of dialogue that enhances the dark humor present in the novel.

On the other hand, reading the print version of the book offers a more personal experience, allowing readers to imagine the characters and setting in their own unique way. It also allows for a more flexible reading experience, as readers can pause and take their time with the story at their own pace.

Ultimately, the choice between audiobook and print comes down to personal preference. Some readers may enjoy both formats for different reasons, while others may have a strong preference for one over the other.

Regardless of which format is chosen, “The Glorious Heresies” is a must-read for fans of darkly comic tales set in modern Ireland. Whether it’s through the engaging narration of the audiobook or the personal experience of the print version, Lisa McInerney’s novel is sure to captivate and entertain readers.

The Impact of “The Glorious Heresies”

Lisa McInerney’s “The Glorious Heresies” has left a lasting impact on contemporary literature, particularly in its portrayal of modern-day Ireland. Through its exploration of themes such as family, crime, and redemption, the novel offers a thought-provoking commentary on Irish society and culture.

The book’s success has also influenced future writers in the genre of dark humor. McInerney has been praised for her unique narrative style and engaging storytelling, leading to critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Irish Society in Fiction

“The Glorious Heresies” has contributed to a shift in the portrayal of Irish society in contemporary literature. McInerney’s novel offers a more nuanced and complex view of the country, moving away from traditional stereotypes and highlighting the struggles and complexities of modern-day Ireland.

Influence on Readers

The impact of “The Glorious Heresies” extends beyond the literary world. The novel resonates with readers, sparking conversations and debates on themes such as morality and guilt. McInerney’s characters and their journeys continue to inspire readers around the world, cementing the book’s position as a contemporary classic.

“McInerney’s novel is a portrait of a working-class, backwater city steeped in poverty and malaise but still capable of transcendent beauty.” – The New York Times


Overall, “The Glorious Heresies” by Lisa McInerney is a captivating and thought-provoking audiobook that explores the complexities of modern-day Ireland through its darkly comic tale of crime, family, and redemption. McInerney’s unique narrative style and engaging storytelling bring the characters and setting to life, creating a literary journey that is sure to resonate with readers.

Through our review, we have delved into the thematic elements, character development, and narration of the audiobook, highlighting its strengths and significance within the literary community. We have also compared and contrasted the experience of consuming “The Glorious Heresies” as an audiobook versus reading it in print, offering insights into the advantages and limitations of each format.

Ultimately, we highly recommend “The Glorious Heresies” to readers who enjoy darkly comic tales set in modern Ireland. Its impact and cultural relevance within contemporary literature are undeniable, and we look forward to seeing its influence on future writers and readers alike.


Can I listen to "The Glorious Heresies" audiobook if I’m not from Ireland?

Absolutely! “The Glorious Heresies” is a darkly comic audiobook that can be enjoyed by listeners from all over the world. While it is set in modern-day Ireland, the themes and storytelling are universal, making it a captivating listen for anyone interested in crime, family, and redemption.

How long is the "The Glorious Heresies" audiobook?

The “The Glorious Heresies” audiobook has a total runtime of approximately [X hours and Y minutes]. This allows listeners to fully immerse themselves in the world of Lisa McInerney’s award-winning novel and experience the captivating storytelling at their own pace.

Who narrates the "The Glorious Heresies" audiobook?

The “The Glorious Heresies” audiobook is narrated by [Narrator’s Name]. Their skilled delivery and ability to capture the essence of the characters bring the story to life, enhancing the overall listening experience and allowing listeners to fully engage with the narrative.

Is "The Glorious Heresies" audiobook available in multiple formats?

Yes, “The Glorious Heresies” audiobook is available in various formats, including CD, MP3, and digital download. This ensures that listeners can choose the format that best suits their preferences and allows for easy access on a variety of devices.

Can I listen to "The Glorious Heresies" audiobook on my smartphone?

Yes, absolutely! The “The Glorious Heresies” audiobook can be listened to on smartphones and other mobile devices through popular audiobook platforms such as Audible,, and OverDrive. Simply download the app, purchase or borrow the audiobook, and start listening on the go.

Is "The Glorious Heresies" suitable for all audiences?

While “The Glorious Heresies” is a compelling and thought-provoking audiobook, it does contain mature themes, explicit language, and scenes of violence. As such, it may not be suitable for younger audiences or those who are sensitive to such content. We recommend checking the age rating or content warnings before listening.

Can I listen to "The Glorious Heresies" without having read the book?

Absolutely! “The Glorious Heresies” audiobook stands on its own as a complete and immersive storytelling experience. Whether you’re familiar with the novel or diving into the story for the first time, the audiobook offers a unique way to engage with Lisa McInerney’s darkly comic tale of crime and redemption.

Leave a Reply