My books on Amazon


available in p/back and ebook on Amazon


THE SHINY RED HONDA is about growing up in rural Ireland in the 1950/60’s, a time of great rural upheaval and change. The creamery, the horse and cart, cross-road dancing, travelling shows, the threshing machine…all their days were numbered. Going to school across the Mass-Path, thinning turnips for a shilling a drill, watching Audie Murphy and Randolph Scott in films that broke down half-way through every reel, being an Altar boy and ‘fiddling’ the church collection boxes, learning to dance with a broomstick as a partner…rare memories of an age of innocence. Who flattened Fr. Sinnott in the sacristy? What was the initiation ceremony at Flahavans Mills? Who was the trombone player in the band who couldn’t play a note? It is also about dreams and aspirations: a young man’s entry into the world of work, and his brief flirtation with the music biz. A story told honestly and uncompromisingly. As it was – warts and all.

Amazon review
5.0 out of 5 starsLaughter and tears on Tom’s journey from boy to man
5 September 2013Published on
Verified Purchase
A wonderful coming-of-age story set in the Ireland of the late fifties and early sixties,The Shiny Red Honda evokes images of a more innocent time, when life was lived at a more gentle pace and people were stoical in the face of hardship, taking the bad with the good as simply part of life’s cycle. Tom O’Brien’s writing is stark and vivid and straight to the point, but always tempered with a wry humour, never taking himself too seriously. We travel with him through his upbringing on a small-holding in County Waterford, sometimes hard, but mostly carefree, and then his emergence from fumbling adolescent to a young working man who played guitar in his spare time in the newly emerging pop/rock band scene of that era. Tom describes everything so beautifully that I found myself re-reading some pages, just for the sheer joy of it. This is one of the best autobiographical books I’ve read in ages, if not THE best, and I can’t wait to read more of Tom O’Brien’s work.


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