...stirring and magnificent...Egan combines deep reporting with masterful storytelling to chronicle this bigger-than-life figure. In the last chapter, he uses his reporting skills to bring new evidence to explain how Meagher died, which has always been surrounded by mystery.
Thomas Meagher’s is an irresistible story, irresistibly retold by the virtuosic Timothy Egan in The Immortal Irishman, which is not the first life of the long-neglected swashbuckler but certainly ranks as the most sweeping...The author tells Meagher’s exhilarating story with an Irishman’s flair for the tragic, poetic and dramatic. But he habitually gilds the lily by inserting what seem like stage directions, using italics to present imagined ruminations and explications.
Egan has a gift for sweeping narrative — he moves briskly through the Great Hunger, the open-air prison that was Australia, the Civil War — and he has a journalist’s eye for the telltale detail...This is masterly work.
Timothy Egan, New York Times contributor and National Book Award winner, has done the reading public a favor by bringing Meagher to their attention with his biography The Immortal Irishman. Egan does justice to the adventurous episodes of Meagher’s life with narrative flair, and his recounting of prejudice against immigrants of a seemingly alien religion could not be more timely. But Egan’s too close to his subjects: He’s been seduced by Meagher and the age-old story of Irish suffering, and that sometimes hurts his writing.
Egan drops gems of detail...throughout The Immortal Irishman. Fans of his other narrative nonfiction (The Worst Hard Time, The Big Burn) will see him work his magic again to let one story illustrate the larger convulsions of history and their legacy for today’s world.
The author of six other books, a multiple Pulitzer-winner, and perhaps best known as a columnist for the New York Times, Egan is a masterly storyteller...The writing gets a bit purple at times...But in the end, it's a wee price to pay for a book like this.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, Egan tells the story beautifully. The Immortal Irishman is polemical and hagiographic, but its arguments and the lavish praise heaped on its subject are grounded in solid research.