Bix wrote:I'm struggling with this one today and I'm not sure why. It may be that the men are not well-developed characters and serve as foils for SD, but as I looked back through the book there was a great deal more there than I remembered. One thing that caught my eye was what Sebastian says, watching Kenneth walk away: "...and his one eye, a wet gem seeking out the sign which pointed the road to the limbo of the living, the deep carpeted womb of the idle rich." It struck me that not only was O'Keefe looking for the easy good life, so certainly was Sebastian and most of the others. And Percy Clockland found it! Although the implication seems to be that his wealth came from sources not exactly on the up and up. I couldn't remember if McDoon actually had money or not, but he was certainly Sebastian's match in sheer craziness and audacity.
The other three Irishmen I see as stereotypes or caricatures almost. Skully is the classic landlord from hell (although he certainly had a tenant from the same place!). Tony Malarky seemed the roaring, boozing everyman, cleverly facing down poverty with every trick in his arsenal (much like S, but without that "entitled" edge to it). And Mary's Dad would be the mean Irish drunk from Central Casting, sadistically beating his daughter while making sure he kept her around to wait on him and care for her brothers.
I'm thinking I may have to read this book again, because I have a feeling I've missed a great deal more to know about at least some of these men.
It doesn't seem like you are struggling with this one to me, Bix. You've certainly captured each man much better than I could have. And how intuitive of you to pick up on that line about O'Keefe.