WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS
“John is so many miles from love now and home. This is the story of his strangest trip.”
A novel of family, ghosts, love, music and the quest for truth, Beatlebone recounts a wild journey through the west of Ireland in 1978. At its helm is John, a maddened genius fleeing fame and seeking peace. With his deadpan Irish driver, Cornelius, at his side, John is hellbent on reaching the Island of Dorinish, an assignment he arranged ten years before.
Lyrical, freewheeling, quixotic and fun, Beatlebone is a sad and beautiful comedy.
Casually lyrical, formally inventive, funny and moving, it is a small wonder * * THE SUNDAY TIMES * * Maps the long-rumored territory between James Joyce and John Lennon with poetic precision and a wised-up but loving eye. It rewards the fan of both those artists yet stands on its own two (or maybe a shaggy dog's four) feet . . . Funny and sneakily informative . . . I read the final pages as slowly as I could in a vain attempt to keep the dream from being over -- MICHAEL CHABON Books like this come along once in a generation * * NEW YORK TIMES * * Gloriously freewheeling . . . a tale of fame, freaks, bad liquor and bad weather * * GUARDIAN * * Superb . . . Beatlebone is a novel of necessary invention: profound, funny, hard to pin down * * IRISH TIMES * * Beatlebone is as gloriously confounding and as wondrously welcome as a hatching hawk's egg in a Christmas cracker * * NIALL GRIFFITHS * * The most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years -- IRVINE WELSH Beatlebone is a rule-breaking novel, a strange and fascinating look at the mystery of creative inspiration * * FINANCIAL TIMES * * A strange and brilliant experiment into showing your working. It's thematically dense yet supremely readable * * METRO * * I think Kevin Barry is two kinds, if not three kinds, of a genius . . . wonderful storytelling . . . enormously cinematic -- TOM SUTCLIFFE * * BBC RADIO 4 SATURDAY REVIEW * * Mingling surreal black humour and breakdown, Beatlebone is a wild cascade of language and imagery, rich in wordplay and referential resonance. Beneath the glittering surface Barry is giving us a vanitas on fame and celebrity. Remember the date is 1978. The real-life endgame will be played out very soon * * SPECTATOR * * As ever with Barry, the dialogue is a joy, tapping into a rich vein of humorous melancholy . . . this is a sharp, likeable book that moves deftly between warm comedy and a grimmer concern with Lennon's parentless childhood with the 'dead love stories' that 'make us' * * SUNDAY TIMES * * A profound, mad and intriguing novel. Too often novels about great artists shy away from attending to those very creative processes that made them great. Beatlebone is a committed, brutal portrait * * LITERARY REVIEW * * The kind of next-level literature that inspires, even incites another generation of natural-born wordsmiths to write big and bold * * THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW * * There's music to Barry's prose: Smart rhythms dart through his sentences; taut bridges join his paragraphs; the tinge of hysteria serves to animate his characters and their surroundings. His dialogue is whimsical, sometimes hilarious, catching the idiom of the local life, and, in Beatlebone, nailing John Lennon, the wittiest and darkest Beatle, spot on * * SLATE * * A genius of the language, teasing out impressionistic riffs that channel emotion into words * * LOS ANGELES TIMES * * Beatlebone is glorious, savoury stuff ? part lark, part meditation, and a tiny part excavation * * BOSTON GLOBE * *
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