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Publisher's Summary

A vital, tender, death-haunted work by one of Ireland's most important contemporary writers, Solar Bones is a celebration of the unexpected beauty of life and of language and our inescapable nearness to our last end.

It is All Souls Day, and the spirit of Marcus Conway sits at his kitchen table and remembers. In flowing, relentless prose, Conway recalls his life in rural Ireland: as a boy and man, father, husband, citizen. His ruminations move from childhood memories of his father's deftness with machines to his own work as a civil engineer, from transformations in the local economy to the tidal wave of global financial collapse. Conway's thoughts go still further, outward to the vast systems of time and history that hold us all. He stares down through the "vortex of his being", surveying all the linked circumstances that combined to bring him into this single moment, and he makes us feel, if only for an instant, all the terror and gratitude that existence inspires.

Solar Bones is a masterwork that builds its own style and language one broken line at a time; the result is a visionary accounting of the now.

©2016 Mike McCormack (P)2017 Recorded Books

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Life

This is a special book which I think may have been a bit hampered by the "gimmick" of being a single sentence. It didn't need the gimmick, it stands on its own. The structure suited the book perfectly, I think the "press" about it just blew it out of proportion. (Though I listened, I also went through some parts in the print version.)

It's a beautiful story of a man reflecting on his simple, complex life. Aside from the structure of the novel, there was nothing particularly original about the story - it was just so deftly told.

Reading stream of consciousness writing is not my thing at all so I decided to listen to this one on audio. Part of me wishes I'd read it, but I'm not sure I would have made it through. Aside from that, this was a STELLAR audio. It's one of those books that was made for audio and the narrator was absolutely perfect.

I finished 36 hours ago and it's still kicking around in my head. As I think about it in relation to the other Booker short listed books (as much as I loved all of them) I do still feel a bit surprised this didn't make the shortlist.

A worthy book I never would have read had it not been for the Man Booker.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A marvelous feast!

What a wonderful story and experience. One can't help but marvel at skill and humanity on display here.