Dark Lies the Island

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This collection of short stories mucks around in the gutters and sewage sludge of Ireland. In one story, an aging, incontinent and alcoholic doctor seeks meaning with a group of Travelers. Another man hopes to revitalize his writing by buying an old inn, but finds himself disgusted by the trivialities of the locals and inundated by floodwaters; a third, young, is part of a terrorist plot. Two old women search for a child to kidnap, then abandon the one they snatch (why?). A mentally impaired man is bullied, and a drug dealer on the run is enslaved. Is the book well-written? Perhaps; the voice is authentic and the characters ‘gritty’ and ‘real’; the dialect is so accurate I could only guess at the meaning of some of the lingo. But this collection has nothing elevating, nothing joyous or soul-enlivening to recommend it. While some stories are moving, even poignant, they are painful. Sharp and hurting. The language is coarse and the themes coarser. All is dark and low, and overwhelmingly dreary and sad. Life is beautiful, but you would never know it from this set.

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Star Count 2/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Graywolf
Publish Date 2013-Oct-22
ISBN 9781555976514
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2014
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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