Publication Date: 11/08/2022 ISBN: 9781913348441 Category:

The Voids

Ryan O'Connor

Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 11/08/2022 ISBN: 9781913348441 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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An unsparing story of modern-day Britain, told with brilliant flashes of humour and humanity.

In a condemned tower block in Glasgow, the final occupant, a young man uplifted by angels and plagued by demons, searches for life in the voids: vacant flats that will never be lived in again. Out in the world, he stumbles into the city, moving from one surreal situation to the next, encountering others on the margins of society, embracing friendship and camaraderie wherever it is offered, grappling with who he is and what shape his future might take.

Publisher Review

'Luminous ... a writer capable of revealing the humanity in everyone ... In an era when contemporary fiction is leaning ever more towards identity and relatability, it's gratifying to know there's still a place for a literary ride as wild as this.' -- Benjamin Myers * The Guardian * 'Reading The Voids is a sensory experience. There is never a word too much, it never lingers. There is tragedy but no melodrama. O'Connor's lightness of touch, the pace, economy, characters ... are all perfect, all harmonious, poetic, but unadorned, even in the blackest of moments. Part of me is still in that high rise or watching the sunlight through the fire exit door at The Satellite. It is beautiful and perfect. I want to say this is a book God would like.' -- Paul Buchanan, The Blue Nile 'A novel about a young man in Glasgow whose life is spiralling downwards, told in almost hallucinogenic prose. I catch glimpses of Alexander Trocchi and William Burroughs in it, but it retains its own unique quality.' -- Ian Rankin * The Guardian * 'A sensory portrait of the city, set in a dizzyingly surreal Glasgow.' -- Katie Goh * i-D Magazine * 'A startling debut ... Benders are integral to the Scottish literary tradition, but O'Connor sets the bar high in a series of absurd, visionary, uproarious episodes ... A triumph of the grotesque ... Comedy at its most existential.' -- John Burnside * TLS * 'At times disturbing, and at others hilarious, there are characters that appear for a page that have haunted me ever since. A wild ride that journeys through the underbelly of our society.' -- Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son 'There are echoes of J.G. Ballard in the setting, and of Don DeLillo in the prose. But The Voids is distinctively and brilliantly Ryan O'Connor's own, rich with precise observations, full of haunting images, and replete with deft vignettes of character, place, and context. This is a novel that confidently generates its own unnerving atmospheres. Extraordinary work.' -- Kevin Power, author of Bad Day in Blackrock 'The Voids is a wild, magical, and magnetically mad picaresque ... it had me bellowing with laughter on one page and needing to weep on the next. I tore through it, and it through me. A brilliant debut.' -- Niall Griffiths, author of Sheepshagger and Broken Ghost 'It is rare to discover a book that is simultaneously beautiful and devastating, where characters are frightening to behold but also worthy of compassion.' -- Simon Van Booy, author of Night Came with Many Stars 'In the space of a few pages, I was there, right in the world of The Voids, in its chaos and sadness, its life and humour. Melodrama and sentimentality have no place in Ryan O'Connor's writing. Instead he gives us warmth and bleakness, humanity and beauty. The "voids" might be empty but this novel is brimming with feeling and perception.' -- Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Home 'Poignant, poetic, and compassionate, The Voids is a tender tale of alienation, and the need to escape and, paradoxically, to belong.' -- Lisa Harding, author of Bright Burning Things 'Finely written ... O'Connor creates a world ex nihilo, showcasing the lives of the forgotten.' * The Irish Times * 'Ryan O'Connor succeeds in conjuring beautiful imagery out of a desperate situation. A whirlwind tour of Glasgow, in the wake of a protagonist plagued by addiction and failure is lifted by the narrative's breakneck pace, and frequent moments of real humour. Reminiscent of James Kelman's work, The Voids should be on everyone's reading list this year.' -- Polly Markham, Golden Hare Books 'A moving and thoroughly enjoyable tale of life in the liminal spaces. A masterly debut.' -- Denise Mina, author of Conviction 'One to watch!' * The Bookseller * 'An engulfing read.' -- Heather McDaid * The Skinny * 'This distinctive debut leaves you wanting to read more from O'Connor.' -- Anthony Cummins * The Daily Mail * 'Ryan O'Connor's debut novel The Voids has him earmarked as the new "overnight sensation" of the literary world ... Critics and fellow authors have been going mad for The Voids.' -- James Trimble * Falkirk Herald * 'An unflinching yet poetic portrait of addiction, this bleak tale is leavened by glimmers of hope and humour.' -- Dan Shaw * Happy Mag * 'Remarkable ... perhaps the most intriguing Scottish debut for a decade.' -- Stuart Kelly * The Scotsman * 'Beautiful, and both explicit and allusive, The Voids is a brave and moving work.' -- Penelope Cottier * The Canberra Times * 'I recently visited Glasgow, the city where I grew up, and was reminded (in the miraculous sunshine) of the atmospheric scope of the Necropolis in the east end of the city ... The Voids by Ryan O'Connor makes an ideal accompaniment to your visit.' -- Peter Scalpello * Galley Beggar Press * 'One of Scotland's most talented new authors.' * Falkirk Herald * 'A searing and passionate debut.' -- Publishers Weekly, starred review 'When all the lists are totted up at the end of the year, it would be a little disappointing if Ryan O'Connor's remarkable debut hadn't scored a respectably high placing among the best Scottish novels of 2022. Already, O'Connor has found a voice: one which is convincingly authentic, and yet mercurial enough to chart both the transcendent highs and soul-destroying lows of alcoholism.' -- Alastair Mabbott * The Herald * 'Compelling and well-written ... The episodic darkness can be unrelenting at times, but what redeems the material is not only O'Connor's effortless prose but also his hope for humanity rooted in his surprising optimism.' -- June Sawyers * Booklist *

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