WINNER OF THE 2014 GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
‘One of the best books of the past decade… The characters are edgy, often violent, locked into a world described in ways that are both harsh and tender. . . Adds a sense of myth, even a spiritual aura, to the narrative that lifts the meanness of the circumstances into some other realm’ Colm Toibin, Washington Post
*Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award
*Winner of the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
This magnificent collection takes us to Glanbeigh, a small town in rural Ireland – a town in which the youth have the run of the place. Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it matters a very great deal.
Colin Barrett’s debut does not take us to Glanbeigh alone; there are other towns, and older characters. But each story is defined by a youth lived in a crucible of menace and desire – and each crackles with the uniform energy and force that distinguish this terrific collection.
Incredible... Human violence, beauty, brilliance of language - this book reminds you of the massive things you can do in short fiction. -- Evie Wyld Magnificent...A stunning debut... The timeless nature of each story means this collection can - and will - be read many years from now. * Sunday Times (Ireland) * Colin Barrett is a young man in the town of the short story, but it's fair to say he has the run of the place. This is a joyously fine collection, crackling with energy and verve, fit for the back pocket of anyone who loves a good story well told. -- Jon McGregor Language, structure, style - Colin Barrett has all the weapons at his disposal, and how, and he has an intuitive sense for what a short story is, and what it can do. -- Kevin Barry Colin Barrett's sentences are lyrical and tough and smart, but there is something more here that makes him a really good writer. His stories are set in a familiar emotional landscape, but they give us endings that are new. What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected. -- Anne Enright
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