PositiveLibrary Journal... a dizzying story at once elliptical, associative, sensuous, and jarring, she summons the elusive symbiosis between lived and imagined experience. Memories of people and events are rooted in the senses, where otherwise dissimilar tastes and smells—marmalade and cigarettes, cucumbers and elastic bands—infuse texture and tangibility into sequences of events and personal habits and traits. Or is it the other way around? The voice offers a brilliant metaphor for her own story when she describes the iris of a rival’s eye as an ouroboros; the serpent eternally swallowing its tail complicates the distinction between beginnings and endings as the voice’s eye blurs and refocuses the connections among reading, writing, and living ... Bennett follows her celebrated debut, Pond, with a stunning demonstration of reading as creation.
RaveLibrary JournalKeegan indicts the social culture that enabled Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and brilliantly articulates a decent person’s struggle of conscience ... Keegan’s beautiful prose is quiet and precise, jewel-like in its clarity. Highly recommended.
RaveLibrary JournalRooney’s third novel deals with some of the emotional dynamics and ideas explored in Conversations with Friends and Normal People but expands and enriches them by depicting human dramas against vast historical backdrops, amplifying art’s essential status in human life. Once again, she has written a masterly and significant work of fiction that is both traditional and innovative.
RaveLibrary JournalDublin-based songwriter Hession has written a tender and hilarious debut. The title characters are unforgettable, and their shared amazement of the world is a gift to readers. Essential reading, especially in these times.
PositiveLibrary JournalDoyle’s latest novel...brilliantly highlights his ear for speech, especially the recursive fluency of inebriation. Narrated by Davy, this novel is a tough and tender celebration of the complexities of authentic friendship, as well as the ephemeral nature of memory
RaveLibrary JournalThe tale of these friends in mourning resists simple storytelling expectations such as beginnings and endings and is more truthfully represented here by telling other stories, from avian migration and the evolution of ordnance to Jorge Luis Borges’s 1969 trip to Jerusalem and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls ... beautifully re-creates Rami and Bassam’s real-life relationship while offering a sweeping range of counterbalancing narratives, ultimately conveying the profound essentiality of their friendship. An important book; McCann’s considerable creative powers astound.
RaveLibrary JournalThe task is almost impossible, though in the throes of anguish the author produces a book filled with words. But the pain it causes him is palpable to the reader ... These repeated attempts are extraordinary and revealing, even when they read as forced experiments, cop-outs, and unnecessary apologies, ultimately creating tensions among the author, his work, and his readers ... This book provides a startling and instructive account of an uncommonly creative consciousness in a state of profound doubt.
RaveLibrary JournalIn this exhilaratingly original work, lyrical prose gives voice to the strange and alluring Ada, whose spellbinding account alternates with the Cures’ testimonials. Seductive and finally horrific; highly recommended.
RaveLibrary JournalNewcomer Griffin\'s storytelling, while economical, is rich and evocative, and her deft pacing maintains suspense across several narrative arcs spanning multiple time lines. Her gift for characterization is so powerful that a commemorative coin becomes one of the book\'s most compelling characters. Most impressive, of course, is her creation of Maurice. His voice is credible, his story absorbing, and his humanity painfully familiar ... Highly recommended; this unforgettable first novel introduces Griffin as a writer to watch.
RaveLibrary JournalThis brilliantly nuanced second novel fulfills the promise evident in the stunning debut, Conversations with Friends, as Rooney once again portrays to dazzling effect intelligent young adults who negotiate social roles and scenarios reinforcing power structures that, for better or worse, define relationships. Marianne and Connell are unforgettable characters, alluring and sympathetic, and Rooney is a formidable talent. A major literary achievement.