Easter Rising by Michael Patrick MacDonald

Easter Rising

A powerfully redemptive story of escape from the Irish American ghetto.Michael Patrick MacDonald's All Souls: A Family Story from Southie told the story of the loss of four of his siblings to the violence, poverty, and gangsterism of Boston's Irish American ghetto. The question "How did you get out?" has haunted MacDonald ever since. In response he has written this new book, a searingly honest story of reinvention that begins with young MacDonald...

Details Easter Rising

TitleEaster Rising
Release DateSep 27th, 2006
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, History, Cultural, Ireland

Reviews Easter Rising

  • Bill Kerwin
    An interesting memoir, particularly when it deals with the Boston punk music scene and the MacDonald family trip to Ireland. Nevertheless, this book is quite a disappointment after MacDonald's All Souls--an unforgettable account of his South Boston boyhood, filled with poetry and rage.
  • Janellyn51
    It's a funny thing when you go to a book signing, and the author says "you look familiar". You say, well, I went to the Rat alot and I did some modeling...and he says, "Oh my God, I totally remember you"!!!! I loved this book. How often do you get to read a book about your scene, the places you went, the shows you were at and your friends that were there with you? Easter Rising totally did it for me. If you've read All Souls, and you should...If ...
  • Jen
    I loved this author's first memoir "All Souls" about growing up amidst the poverty and violence in the tight-knit, xenophobic Irish-Catholic community of South Boston in the 1970s/80s, how that poverty and violence claimed the lives of four of his brothers and disabled one of his sisters. In Easter Rising, he focuses on his own story, how he was transported away from the projects through his love of punk music and how he reconciled himself to his...
  • Chuck
    The edition I read of this book has a cover that markets it as a memoir of a young man who grew up in the era of punk rock. I suppose the publisher is trying to appeal to a demographic who also grew up in the late '70's and early '80's when The Sex Pistols and The Clash were the cutting edge of the music scene. And in a way, this book does deliver. Michael MacDonald did experience British punk and new wave music when it first came to America, and...
  • Sarah
    I recently heard Michael Patrick MacDonald speak at a conference and his story and remarks on intergenerational trauma compelled me to go back and finally read his second book. Where All Souls is amazing storytelling about the MacDonald family and the social and cultural underpinnings that shaped their lives in Southie, Easter Rising brings you into the author's own experience and how he dealt with so much trauma. It is raw and gut wrenching but ...
  • Esther Bradley-detally
    I loved the author's All Souls, and I'm from Boston, West Roxbury to be exact; where a lot of people thought they were better than others. fortunately after reading All Souls, i dropped that myth; had done so much earlier in my life, but still needed a reminder. The people are strong and clannish and MacDonald portrays well his alienation, quest, and yet tug of family.
  • Meaghan
    I was surprised by how much I liked his second memoir considering I had heard that it paled in comparison to his first--and one of my favorite--memoirs, All Soul's. It has been a while since I read All Soul's, and I intend to read it now again, but in my memory it described rather than explained the ethnocentric mindset of South Boston. Easter Rising focuses on explaining that self-deprecating mentality, using the story of MacDonald's own growth-...
  • Christina
    I suspect when "All Souls" came out, a lot of people went to the author and said "This book is amazing, but what about you?" I noticed, reading it, that MPM kept himself very much to the narrator role of the book, and sometimes it seemed as if we only knew what he was up to because of his presence or absence during his story about one of his siblings or his mother.So now we know what he was up to, and I'm glad we found out. It's just not as compe...
  • Joanne
    MacDonald was born the year after I was, and grew up in South Boston. Some of what he writes about sounds familiar: the music scene in the 70's and early 80's, forced busing of Boston schools along with overt (and not so-overt) racism in Boston, some facets of Irish American culture. But MacDonald grew up as one of 10, raised by a single mom (who sounded like an amazing, accordion-playing character - she went back to school to get her college deg...
  • Joanie
    This is the follow up to [All Souls-A Family Story from Southie] In this one MacDonald talks about turning away from his family and his neighborhood and getting into the punk scene of the late 70's and early 80's. He eventually seeks to learn more about his heritage and makes peace with a lot of things. Not as good as the first and might be someone confusing if you hadn't read the other but still good. The losses he and his family endured are sta...
  • Cathy
    It took a while to get to my favorite part where visiting his grandfather's Ireland but his struggles do come together. Learned about South Boston, Whitey Bulger and more than I ever dreamed of the music in the 80's and 90's. The dealing with so many tragedies the Irish way explains so much for any Irish family finding a path to coping with loss.
  • Stacy
    Well, written. Makes me think differtly when I see a kid who is screaming to be different. I'll try to be a little more understanding.
  • Christine Fay
    This is the authors follow-up to All Souls. Its a more personal take on how he escapes the death grip of Southie to find an identity for himself that is not based on racial bigotry. In my lowest moments, as I wandered all over the city or kept the deathwatch, I would nearly collapse from the recurring realization that the most any of my family could ever hope for was a fate like Daveys and Kathys -- crashing one way or another onto the twisted co...
  • Jason Das
    Was reminded Id been meaning to read this by the death of Whitey Bulger.If you liked All Souls, definitely worth it, and if youre interested in the underground rock music scene of the time, all the more reason. Lots of good stories and strong feelings well expressed. But it suffers from a higglety-pigglety structure and chronology... almost more like a set of appendixes to All Souls than a book that stands up on its own. Was reminded I’d been...
  • Jackie
    Sequel to All Souls, which I really liked. Subtle humor throughout, but the part, about his trips to Ireland, was really funny. His mother is quite a character. His foray into the punk scene didn't hold my interest. The ending was abrupt. I felt like the reader was left hanging. What happens next?
  • Kelly
    I really enjoyed All Souls, and Easter Rising was also very good. In this memoir, MacDonald focuses mostly on the role of music in his teen years, then his gradual reimmersion into Irish American culture, including a trip to Ireland with his mother. I'm stuck between a three and a four, but because it feels a little different than many memoirs, I am going to bump up the score.
  • Thomas M.
    Easter Rising is a brave, heartbreaking piece of truth.-Patti SmithI agree.
  • Althea Terenzi
    To summarize very quickly, imagine the moves A Bronx Tale, Good Will Hunting, The Departed, and American Hardcore blended together, and you've got Easter Rising. I guess I didn't begin the book with such high expectations, not having read All Souls as many other reviewers have. At first I was hooked by the story, which really accurately portrays Boston and its characters. The narrator's childhood memories were a mix of tough-kid-from-the-streets-...
  • Rachel
    In EASTER RISING, Michael Patrick MacDonald delves deeper into memories of his Southie childhood which he introduced in ALL SOULS. This second memoir assumes you've read ALL SOULS and know the basics of his experiences growing up with a single mother, on welfare, in a South Boston neighborhood overtaken by crime, drugs, and youth suicides--so he doesn't go into detail about these things or indulge in any self-pity. Instead, EASTER RISING is about...
  • Chris
    Awesome memoir about growing up in in an Irish Catholic family in the projects of Southie, though unlike his other book which I haven't yet read, this one is about the rebellion and how he strives to get away from his family and neighborhood. I was particular drawn into the era where he found punk and started hanging out at record shops and sneaking into clubs in Boston in he 80s, and then about the same when he started going to NYC. While he tel...
  • Mike
    The book is testament to what humans can endure emotionally and turn into good. Michael Patrick MacDonald lost numerous siblings in childhood and punk music helped him start to break out of South Boston's projects' mold of drugs and crime. There's a punk education along with street smarts. You do have to wonder if an underground is even possible anymore. His new found adventurous attitude led him to Europe and then at his grandfather's insistence...
  • Elizabeth
    In the follow up to his successful and riveting memoir, All Souls, MacDonald takes us along for another ridethis time through his teen years in the Irish ghetto of Bostons Southie. He says he wrote this in response to the readers of his first book who only wanted to know how hed got himself out of what can only be described as a desperate (and seemingly impossible to escape) childhood. MacDonald was the third youngest of seven kids, raised by the...
  • Marisa
    Easter Rising is a follow-up to Michael McDonald's All Souls, his story of growing up in Southie amidst his Irish-American family during the era of busing in Boston. All Souls blew my mind, and so I admit I had very, very high expectations for Easter Rising.I was somewhat disappointed by the first part of the book, which mostly focused on McDonald's entry into the world of punk as an escape from his life in Southie. Though interesting, it didn't ...
  • Brianne
    It's rare that you have the opportunity to read a book that takes a few blocks away from where you live (granted during much different times). I read All Souls when I first moved to Southie three years ago - after receiving numerous recommendations - and recently my book club led me to Easter Rising. I was instantly drawn in again to MacDonald's stifling project world by his unique voice. He is a phenomenal storyteller. Here he lends his passion ...
  • Curtis
    Still an enjoyable, interesting read, though not quite as captivating as Macdonald's other book, All Souls A Family Story from Southie. While All Souls A Family Story from Southie focuses on Macdonald's family, Easter Rising examines the author himself: how he viewed Southie growing up, his attempts to distance himself from it and frustrations with the perverted "greatest place on Earth" attitude that was pervasive in his neighborhood, his discou...
  • Brendan
    This books was wonderful. It is the story of a kid from a big family growing up in Irish South Boston in the age of the Sex Pistols and the rise of punk. I love the descriptions of the old life, what it was like to be young and troubled and to hear salvation come through your record label speakers. The poor author lost several of his brothers and sisters over the years and the discussions of how the Irish deal with death was very interesting and ...
  • Miles
    First thing that attracted me into buying Easter Rising is because of it's relation to Punk. The author, MacDonald, once went through the whole "rebellion" phase of being a teenager. He got caught in the world of Punk and it's essentials: Gate-crashing in concerts, concealing himself in his dark room all day listening to his recorded cassettes of bands such as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, etc.. Pretty much the whole package.The heartbreaking part ...
  • Amy
    This memoir grabs you by the throat from the start. In the opening chapter, the authors brother attempts suicide by jumping off the roof of the familys housing project. Unfortunately, he survives for a bit at least long enough to leap to his feet and fight off the EMTs and his own brother. The book moves along smoothly, illustrating the cycle of poverty and desperation in South Boston and the challenges of breaking that cycle. I had a natural in...