Everything in This Country Must: A Novella and Two Stories
In his fourth book, Colum McCann turns to the "troubles" in Northern Ireland and reveals the reverberations of political tragedy in the most intimate lives of men and women, parents and children. In the title story, a teenage girl must choose between allegiance to her Catholic father and gratitude to the British soldiers who have saved the family's horse. The young hero of...more
The title story only lasts 23 minutes. I am listening to the audiobook performance. Yes, it feels like a performance, not the reading of a story! The narration by Clodagh Bowyer, in her young feminine Irish patois, was fantastic. The book’s narrator is a fifteen year old. Her perception of the event is that of a young Catholic Irish girl. She saw the body of the male swimmer. That is what she would see. She saw the agony and frustratio ...more
The novella is an absolute stunner, a thing of beauty, and ranks as one if the very best pieces I have had the fortune to read. Think of McCann as Joyce mixed with Hemingway, although this is a stupid way of putting things. But if you liked Old Man and the Sea, you will love this.
All three works have an adolescent protagonist. McCann really captures this age of flux perfectly, and in a serious tone. This is quite unlike what others, say David Mitchell, do with their a ...more
If " ...more
"The ticking was gone from my mind and all was quiet everywhere in the world and I held the curtain like I held the sound of the bullets going into the draft horse, ...more
The two short stories and novella in this collection all revolve around “the Troubles” in the North of Ireland which haunted generations of Irish people on both sides of the border as well as in Britain for decades. Significantly, none of the main characters are directly involved in direct conflict. In the first, titular, story a Catholic farmer and his daughter receive unwanted he ...more
McCann is the author of the 2009 National Book Award winner Let The Great World Spin. In my review of that book, I noted how he'd intricately woven together seemingly unrelated stories against the backdrop of the Twin Towers, crafting a moving tribute to NYC.
Before NYC, McCann had written about his home country Ireland. Everything In This Country ...more
This is a collection of two short stories and a novella, all set in Northern Ireland during "The Troubles" of the late 70's, early 80's and all told from a child's point of view. McCann not only explores the politcal struggles of that time, but the struggles kids face when they feel pulled in two different directions.
In the first story "Everything in this Country Must" a young girl struggles with her feelings of gr ...more
This collection of two short stories and one novella offers the beautiful writing you would expect to find in any of his books. The stories are all set during the Irish Troubles in the late 1970s/early 1980s. In the novella, an adolescent boy is trying to get his head around the fact that his uncle (whom he does not know well) is a part of The Irish Hunger Strike (of 1981). It guts him but he takes pride, also. It's a sad but lyrical story, l ...more