Juno Loves Legs by Karl Geary review: A sensitive portrait of friends fighting the tide in 1980s Dublin

Evocative and elegiac: Karl Geary. Photo by Aleksandra Modrzejewska

Tanya Sweeney

Karl Geary has lived several lives, each one more intriguing than the last. Growing up the youngest of eight children in a working-class part of Blackrock in Dublin, Geary began his professional life working in a wallpaper shop in Talbot Street, aged 15. From there, he tried his luck in New York and the payoff was handsome. Another Irish emigrant, Shane Doyle, asked him to help out with the running of a run-down bar called Sin-é, which soon became storied in its own right. He co-founded his own fabled New York bar, The Scratcher. Geary soon heeded the siren song of acting and later, book writing. His scriptwriting credits include Coney Island Baby and the screen adaptation of Dorothy Parker’s You Were Perfectly Fine. After a five-publisher scrum, Geary signed a deal with Harvill Secker, finding himself in the same rarefied company as Karl Ove Knausgaard, Haruki Murakami and JM Coetzee.