A blazingly original, wildly stylish, and pulpy debut novel
Forty or so years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the North Rises, and the eerie bogs of the Big Nothin’ that the city really lives. For years it has all been under the control of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there’s trouble in the air. They say Hartnett’s old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight.
About Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry was born in Limerick in 1969 and now lives in Dublin. His short fiction has appeared widely on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently in The New Yorker. City of Bohane is his first novel.
“[Barry’s] work is hilarious and unpredictable—and always brilliant.” —Roddy Doyle
“The best novel to come out of Ireland since Ulysses.” —Irvine Welsh
“What an unforgettably wonderful novel: hilarious, unique, utterly believable. It’s Joyce meets Anthony Burgess, and as funny as Flann O’Brien. We Kevin Barry fans have known for a while that he is a writer of rarest gifts, but this book is an electrifying masterpiece.” —Joseph O’Connor
Auld Times - ‘City of Bohane,’ by Kevin Barry
The New York Times Book Review – March 29, 2012 (Excerpt)
“City of Bohane,” the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels. They are all literary marvels, of course: marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy.
The form resembles an Icelandic saga welded to a ballad of the American West, although the location is in a place somewhere in Ireland, around the year 2053. In prose that is both dense and flowing, Barry takes us on a roaring journey, among human beings who are trapped in life its own damned self. Nostalgiagrips many of them, even when they slash angrily at sentimentality. None of it is real, yet all of it feels true. This powerful, exuberant fiction is as true as the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez, the Yoknapatawpha County of William Faulkner and, in a different way, even the Broadway of Damon Runyon. Those places were not real. The stories remain true.
The binding story here is about love. Two men, one woman, a shared place. Bohane itself is separated by class, tribe, vision. One of the men is Logan Hartnett, who runs the Fancy, the most fearsome gang in the city. He’s also called the Albino or the Long Fella (though not because he writes poetry, which he doesn’t) or simply Mr. H. The obscure, nameless, occasional narrator points out one detail: “Mouth of teeth on him like a vandalized graveyard but we all have our crosses.” [Read the full article...]
THE LONDONDERRY AIR
Testament of an Ulster Gunman A Novel by Garrad Gawler
It all changed for Charles Cunningham, a Physics teacher at the local College of Technology in the County Derry town of Maddenstown, on a June afternoon in 1973 when a bomb exploded in his neighborhood. He answers an advertisement by the UDR, the Ulster Defence Regiment, but, in the time to come, he will experience the consequences of his decisions, and how his involvement complicates matters with family and friends, Protestants and Catholics alike, to an unexpected degree.
With “The Londonderry Air – Testament of an Ulster Gunman” Garrad Gawler describes in minute detail and with an astonishing level of authenticity not only the inner workings of the Ulster Defence Regiment, but also the activities of underground paramilitary groups of regular citizens who planned and carried out the assassination of suspected Republican terrorists in their neighborhood.
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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