Synopses & Reviews
Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916 -- Ireland's brave but fractured revolt against British rule -- At Swim, Two Boys is a tender, tragic love story and a brilliant depiction of people caught in the tide of history. Powerful and artful, and ten years in the writing, it is a masterwork from Jamie O'Neill.
Jim Mack is a naive young scholar and the son of a foolish, aspiring shopkeeper. Doyler Doyle is the rough-diamond son -- revolutionary and blasphemous -- of Mr. Mack's old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, the two boys make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, on Easter of 1916, they will swim to the distant beacon of Muglins Rock and claim that island for themselves. All the while Mr. Mack, who has grand plans for a corner shop empire, remains unaware of the depth of the boys' burgeoning friendship and of the changing landscape of a nation.
Ireland, Easter 1915, turbulent times, and two young boys make a pact. In a year's time they will jump off Forty Foot, a jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, and swim to the glow of the Muglins light to raise the Irish flag and claim it for their country and for their love of each other.
Highly acclaimed Irish fiction about the developing relationship between two boys from Dublin around the time of the Easter Rising, which has drawn favourable comparisons with Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" and Vikram Seth's "A Suitable Boy".