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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa First Novel Award. Winner of the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.

Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines.

There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and the eerie bogs of Big Nothin' that the city really lives.

For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight... And then there's his mother.

©2011 Kevin Barry (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd, Random House Audiobooks 2013

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  • YA
  • 02-16-15

Impressive Debut

Visceral,powerful first novel. Witty and yet unforgiving. Unusually the author's reading adds a credible sense of place, pace and characterisation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • danryan24
  • 07-26-17

A gripping story poetically narrated by the author

This novel, as distinct from the sometimes sterile readings by professional readers, is narrated by the books author. His attention to language and flow is brought to light in his passionate reading of his own work.

The novel itself is at times gruesome but also emotive in those moments. One is drawn by the in-depth character depictions into this dark, cruel world where surviving the year is a success. His descriptions of their clothes are overly elaborate and take somewhat from it as you can't skip it, like with a book.

Overall it's a complex and exciting story well told by the books own writer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful