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Having spiraled into self-destruction, Irish finds himself homeless on the streets of London. In a last-ditch effort to sort something out, he rents a rickshaw, propelling him into a frantic sub-culture of criminals, misfits and lost souls.

Rickshaw is a dangerous bedlam of close calls and near misses and its passengers are the drunken, beaten down and stranded. To work rickshaw, Irish must take a lesson in stamina and shift up through his emotional gears but no matter how hard he pedals, always hot on his heels, is his past. Hilarious, poignant and razor sharp, this debut novel captures the underbelly of London’s West End through a stunningly, gimlet eye and electrifying energy.


‘A hilarious, poignant and razor-sharp debut, set in the underbelly of London’s West End, as the hero pedals frantically with the past always hot on his heels.’

Books Ireland

‘Rickshaw is funny, above all, but also wicked, exhausting, and by turns kind. McGrath is a writer of substantial potential, demanding of attention. Rickshaw is that call to attention.’

Open Pen

‘The novel is set on the peripheries of conventional-bourgeois life, and Joe finds himself growing into London, by simply observing those who operate by the rule of the street: thus hustlers, the homeless, peddlers, venders, whores, drunks and drug addicts all become his gateway to understanding the city.’

Irish Post

‘David McGrath writes for ‘my mates in the pub who never read’, but the rapid sale of copies of Rickshaw after his performance of a scene from this novel to a room of avid readers tells you that his appeal is much broader than that. No, he doesn’t like adverbs and he avoids flowery descriptive language. Instead, he uses sparse narrative and superb dialogue to say it all.’

Gwen Goodhew - Waverton Good Reads Award


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