Based on personal memories of his life in Ireland and Scotland during the early 1900s, Children of the Dead End is Patrick McGill's first novel. It tells the story of Dermod Flynn, an independent and feisty youth, who earns a meagre living as an itinerant farm-hand in Donegal and County Tyrone, before moving to Scotland with a potato-picking squad. Alternately living on the road, labouring and navvying, Dermod reads voraciously, begins to discover his talent as a writer and is eventually lured to Fleet Street, where he briefly follows a career in journalism. Peopled with extraordinary characters and told with humour, Children of the Dead End is a gritty and uncompromising exposé of the near slavery endured by the poor in Ireland and Scotland at the beginning of the twentieth century.
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