Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

Say Nothing

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussionsIn December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict kno...

Details Say Nothing

TitleSay Nothing
Release DateFeb 26th, 2019
PublisherDoubleday Books
GenreNonfiction, History, Crime, True Crime, Cultural, Ireland, Politics, Mystery

Reviews Say Nothing

  • William2
    Harrowing. I’ve always wanted a book that could describe simply and clearly what happened in Ireland during The Troubles. Not being Irish, I’ve too often felt the pall of incomprehensibility daunting me. I never found the right book, until now. Say Nothing is indeed that longed-for book. The prose is just perfectly freighted, and the reader is hoovered into the narrative maelstrom from the very first page with the mad scene of Jean McConville...
  • Rachel
    I wish it weren't only February because the statement 'this is the best book I've read all year' does not carry very much weight when we still have 10 months to go. But, nonetheless, this is my reigning book of 2019. And it ended up being one of those rare cases when the book turned out so differently from what I expected, but I ended up liking it all the more for that. From the blurb I got the impression that this was going to focus on the disap...
  • megs_bookrack
    Very impressive, Radden Keefe. Very impressive indeed.Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland is an intricate and moving piece of narrative nonfiction concerning The Troubles in the North of Ireland, particularly centered in Belfast, beginning in 1969 through the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.Bookending Radden Keefe's extraordinary compilation of these events is the story of a mother of ten, Jean McConville, who was for...
  • Matt
    “[A] pair of dispassionate [IRA] gunmen were sent from Belfast. Before the killing, they summoned a priest. This was not unusual: there were certain priests in that era who grew accustomed to the late-night phone call. They would be summoned outside by gruff men who were about to perform an execution and asked to deliver the last rites. The act of killing itself had a ritual character, a practiced choreography…A bag is placed over your head. ...
  • Erin
    Everything you have heard or read about this book is true. Say Nothing is THE nonfiction book of 2019. My review specifically will focus on my experience with the Audiobook. In Belfast, history is alive-and dangerous What compels an American journalist living in the United States to bring forth to readers the political violence that held the Irish public in a vice grip from 1916-1998? For Patrick Radden Keefe, it wasn't his 19th century Iris...
  • Matt
    After reading a history-rich fictional pentalogy about the Irish struggles, I could not help but turn to Patrick Radden Keefe’s book. Keefe takes the reader into the heart of the Anglo-Irish conflict, particularly as it developed in Northern Ireland (or the North of Ireland, depending on which side you support). Keefe explores how the simmering tensions of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) against the British Army and Ulster (Protestant) majority...
  • Valerity (Val)
    I’ve always been under-informed about the situation in Ireland and reading Say Nothing was a great way to cure that problem. It gives great history on the long-standing feud between the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, and the problem with England getting involved in Ireland’s affairs for hundreds of years. It shares the story of the widowed 38-year-old mum of 10, Jean McConville, who is taken from her apartment one December night in 197...
  • Cody
    "Must it be the case that who one perceives a tragedy will forever depend on where one sits? The anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss once observed that, 'for a majority of the human species, and for tens of thousands of years, the idea that humanity includes every human being on the face of the earth does not exist at all. The designation stops at the border of each tribe, or linguistic group, sometimes even at the edge of a village.' When it came...
  • Marks54
    I reached young adulthood around the time that the Troubles in Northern Ireland broke out and were a constant occurrence on the TV and in newspapers. Since then, I have forgotten how terrible this struggle was. Subsequently, it became clear that it was even worse than it appeared on the news. With Patrick Keefe’s new book, Say Nothing, it is clear that the Troubles were even worse than that. It is amazing to me that they were brought to any pea...
  • Esil
    It took me a long time to get through this audiobook, but it was definitely worth it. I grew up in Canada hearing about the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, but I only had the vaguest idea of Irish history. Last summer, I was in the Republic of Ireland and really appreciated the vivid introduction to Irish history and culture. I seem to have caught the bug, because this summer I will be traveling to Northern Ireland. Say Nothing is a great loo...
  • Julie Christine
    Right now, the only visible sign that you've crossed the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland is the change on road signs from miles to kilometers. In the twenty-one years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast, signaling an end to the decades-long conflict known as the 'Troubles', the checkpoints have come down, the armed border patrols have been decommissioned, the observation towers are nowhere to be seen. With Brexit l...
  • Dita
    Breathtakingly haunting and good.Patrick Radden Keefe tells the story of the conflict in Northern Ireland between the Irish nationalists, the Catholics, and the unionists, the Protestants, in a time described as The Troubles.This book is very well researched, it is harrowing and it focuses largely on the human cost. I believed myself to be relatively well-informed on this topic before I read this book. I wasn't.I cannot recommend highly enough!Th...
  • Perry
    Blazin' banshees! Unbelievably bloody brutality.... lyin' Gerry feckin' Adams.... Who in feck did he tink tey were to judge, condemn and take lives and destroy families?
  • Donna Davis
    The Irish have fought against oppressive British rule for centuries, but for many the most interesting—and for some of us, emotionally charged—period is that known as The Troubles, which unfolded in 1969 as Irish youth, inspired by the Cuban Revolution and the Civil Rights movement in the United States, sought to carve out some rights for working people living in the North of Ireland and concluded in 1997 following the ceasefire agreement str...
  • Eric
    Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe details the decades-long bloody conflict, known as The Troubles, in Northern Ireland between all factions involved.Through the book, Keefe does an excellent job of bringing forward the history of the conflict in an understandable way for all readers. In his detailing of the violence, Keefe aptly provides the reader with enough explanation that shows this is not just a Catholic or Protestant conflict, or for tha...
  • Skip
    I will be surprised if this book does not win some literary awards. It details the decades-long violent conflict in Northern Ireland (a/k/a The Troubles) between the Protestant majority, the Catholic minority, and the British. The book is very well-researched with 75? pages of annotated footnotes, but suffers some in my opinion, from the introduction of too many people, in an attempt to be all-inclusive. There are essentially four main characters...
  • Sandy
    4.5 starsAbsolutely riveting. The author personalizes the Troubles by following a handful of individuals who were in the thick of it. Their stories are gripping & sad, poignantly reflecting the effects of decades of war. It's exhaustively researched (as evidenced by 60 pages of notes & a 5 page bibliography at the end) & clearly lays out the history from early 1900's to present day. Written in an unbiased & eminently readable style, Keefe present...
  • Natasha Niezgoda
    I couldn't finish this audiobook. I FEEL TERRIBLE. But I had a difficult time following along between the narration and the plotline. It kept jumping between the murder and then the history of Belfast. So by the time you reconnected with the murder, the details were fuzzy because you had just listened to an hour of religion versus state historical facts. Does that make sense?
  • Shannon
    From the description of this book, I thought it was mostly about Jean McConville, the woman who disappeared during the Troubles. And I thought that the history of the Troubles would come second, but I was much mistaken. Jean is barely mentioned in the first half of the book and instead we are treated to an in depth discussion of what the Troubles were and what led to them, with introductions to far too many characters for me to keep track of. The...
  • Canadian
    “I became intrigued by the idea that an archive of the personal reminiscences of ex-combatants might be so explosive: what was it about these accounts that was so threatening in the present day? In the intertwining lives of Jean McConville [a 38-year-old mother of 10, who was “disappeared” in 1972 by the IRA], Dolours Price [a key IRA “volunteer” involved in the 1973 London car-bomb attacks], Brendan Hughes [a prominent IRA tactician], ...
  • Christine
    When Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries died, some people said “Dreams” or “Linger” was the band’s best song. But for many people, myself include, it was “Zombie”, the song about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It isn’t that the U2 songs about it are bad – “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” is powerful – but “Zombie” is so rare that powerful doesn’t even begin to describe it. It is the sense of horrible lose and pain. And...
  • Susan Johnson
    I generally don't read non-fiction but the two best books I have read this year are that genre and this is one of them. I have always wanted to read a clear, concise and understandable book about the Irish troubles. I am going to admit my prejudices here. I have never understood why anyone would want the British in their country. Now I get it, for their protection. I think the U.S. sympathy was always with the IRA and I remember the activism in t...
  • Mike
    Pretty riveting, especially for an idiot like me who knew nothing about the Troubles.Like a long, well-written magazine article, this is a history told through the intertwined stories of a number of the principal figures. Dolours Price, for example, who drove ‘touts’ to their deaths across the border in the Republic, whose idea it was to export car bombings to London, and who later married the actor Stephen Rea (a Protestant), from The Crying...
  • Katie Long
    “Where to be saved you only must save faceAnd whatever you say, you say nothing.”Seamus HeaneyOh now this was great! Keefe uses the mystery surrounding the murder of a young widowed mother of ten (yes, ten) to tell a much larger story of the actions of the IRA during the Troubles. It is richly detailed, but the details don’t slow down the narrative all. This is probably the most page turning non-fiction that I have ever read.
  • Barbara
    I finished this book almost two weeks ago, and last week attended a class or what is called “spotlight” at my local indie bookstore on the book. But it has been busy so I am just settling down now to write a review. I have read many books about “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland over a few decades. This is one of the better books I have read on the subject. This book tells the story of events that occurred over 45 years ago. The author, P...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    Excellent overview of the IRA and ‘the Troubles” including all the ongoing implications of the war. This was very well researched and elegantly written. I had a little trouble at the beginning fitting all of the disparate parts of the complicated narrative together, but things did come together in the third part of the book.
  • Martin
    One of the most eye opening and gut wrenching pieces of non fiction that I’ve read. Highly recommended for anyone curious about the conflict in Northern Ireland
  • Sarah
    I wrote this review for Really Into ThisCheck out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.comHappy Reading, friends!SAY NOTHING BY PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE BOOK REVIEWA deep dive into the crime-ridden & tumultuous history of Northern Ireland.WHAT HAPPENED TO JEAN?Immediately, I need to know what happened to Jean McConville. As soon as the mother of ten is kidnapped from her home, I’m fully invested in this book. Jean’s story is terrifying & ...
  • Alison Hardtmann
    In December 1972, Jean McConville is taken away from her apartment in front of her ten children by masked gunmen. She is never seen again. In March 1973, along with nine others including her sister, Delours Price places four car bombs in central London. She is arrested while trying to leave the country. During her stay in prison, she and her sister go on a hunger strike and are force-fed by the prison authorities. Using the framework of these two...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    This review can also be found on my blog!CW: death, kidnapping, anorexia, starvation, forced feeding, alcoholism, and drug useRight as I finished this book, my first thought was: “What a shame that the murder got lost in this book.” There was lots of murder, but the murder that this book was supposedly about got lost in the story. Lost as Jean McConville was in reality.This book is a fine book. I learned a whole hell of a lot. See, I was born...