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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

City of Bohane - Kevin Barry

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, paper-read, impac-winner, britain-ireland, amusing, teh-brillianz, spring-2014

Read from December 05, 2013 to April 13, 2014


This is his first novel; Barry has previously written short fiction and his collection 'There Are Little Kingdoms' won the Rooney Prize in 2007.

Words of praise for this book from the cover blurbs include:

unpredictable - Roddy Doyle
arresting - Irish Times
electrifying - Joseph O'Connor
fizzing - Glasgow Herald
sizzling - Scotsman
addictive - Sunday Times
visceral - Financial Times

Gosh, maybe I need asbestos reading gloves.

Dedication: for Olivia Smith

The first section is entitled October and the opening lines: Whatever's wrong with us is coming in off that river. No argument: the taint of badness on the city's air is a taint off that river. This is the Bohane river we are talking about. A backwater surge, malevolent, it roars in off the Big Nothin' wastes and the city was spawned by it and named for it: city of Bohane.

Sound like the Ankh river from Discworld!

Best music? - Can only be this!

A fun read that comes across as an Irish Western. The prose won't be to everyone's taste as it is written in both Bohane Cant and Smoketown Patois.

Gant Broderick swings in from the Nothin', and the 'Bino is in the Land of Concrete and there is a settling to be done.

'But the families of the Rises were united in a way they had not been for years, and hard-prepped for a move against the Fancy'

For the most I loved this 'exhilarating', 'bold', 'zingy' read, although the theme did become somewhat tiresome after a while, hence the star climb-down

p 66- 'I think he's about to throw a shape'