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Dark Lies the Islandby Kevin Barry
Synopses & Reviews
An award-winning collection from the author of City of Bohane, which was hailed by Pete Hamill as “full of marvels” (The New York Times Book Review)
* Short-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award * Winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award * One of last year's most critically acclaimed books in the UK * A Guernica Best Book of the Year * A Library Journal "Best Indie Fiction of 2013" *
Dark Lies the Island is a wickedly funny and hugely original collection of stories about misspent love and crimes gone horribly wrong. In the Sunday Times Short Story Award-winning “Beer Trip to Llandudno,” a pack of middle-aged ale fanatics seeking the perfect pint find more than they bargained for. A pair of sinister old ladies prowl the countryside for a child to make their own. And a poet looking for inner calm buys an ancient inn on the west coast of Ireland but finds instead rancorous locals and catastrophic floodwaters.
Kevin Barrys dazzling language, razor-sharp ear for the vernacular, and keen eye for the tragedies and comedies of daily life invest these tales with a startling vitality. Dark Lies the Island was short-listed for the Frank OConnor International Short Story Award, and as one of the most acclaimed collections in Europe in many years, it heralds the arrival of a new master of the short story.
"There are a lot of pleasures to be had in Barry's short story collection. First, there's his way with language — a bent form of Irish that makes the most mundane exchange, like those of the mileage-obsessed locals at the hotel bar in 'Fjord of Killary,' somehow hilarious. Then there's the pleasure of safely spending time in the company of people you might well cross the street to avoid, like the Mullaney brothers in 'White Hitatchi,' who are well-known to the local constabulary, or the law-abiding but big, sweaty, and, as their beer-tasting excursion extends, presumably loud, friends of 'Beer Trip to Llandudno.' Whether they did well in the high-flying Celtic Tiger years, or, more likely, missed out entirely, whether in Ireland or part of the vast Irish diaspora, Barry's characters tend to be aware of both the exact alcohol content of their chosen beverages and the likelihood that the road they're on isn't leading anywhere good. Though 'Dark Lies the Island' — one of the few stories told from a female point of view — isn't the collection's strongest, it does offer the perfect title overall: the island and its inhabitants aren't doing well, and Barry is a master at showing both the darkness and the piercing moments of humor and self-knowledge that now and then penetrate it. (Sept. 24)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kevin Barrys deliciously wicked collection Dark Lies the Island delivers on the many reckless promises made by his virtuosic and prizewinning debut novel, City of Bohane. It firmly establishes him as both a world-class word slinger and a masterful storyteller.
About the Author
Kevin Barry is the author of City of Bohane and two story collections. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature and the Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland.
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