City of Bohane
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 re...more
usually, i am pretty good with the readers' advisory thing - i have this innate sense that automatically provides me with a list of names of people i think would appreciate the book, even if i didn't like it myself. call it a gift.
but this one - i am genuinely at a loss. i know that i liked it, but i also know that i am a little bit damaged from having read it. like my brain has been mooshed a little and i have had a hard time readjusting.
so it takes pla...more
It's a new book, just out this year, but I don't feel like explaining what it's about and will just insert the book blurb for those who are curious but don't want to refer back to it: Thirty or so years in the future. The once-gre...more
I read the first 2 chapters and really struggled with them, both in terms of the language (very broad Irish dialect and patois) and also just trying to find something - character or story - to start building the reading experience from. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that i "had to" read it for Book Club, I would not have persevered with this book. So I started again, and re-read the beginning, and kept going second-time ar...more
Like drinking whiskey on a wintery day in a room with no heat, no light, and two-inch gapes between each wooden wall plank, Barry's book will shake you. It's a silent, desperate bellowing yellow to the moon. And it's also...more
The City of Bohane is somewhere in the West of Ireland in the distant future, an Ireland that is real yet warped and seen through a dirty and distorted lens. The language of the book reflects the vision of the City – it too is bent and twisted, mixed with partly real, partly imag...more
And there's a lot of really meaty subject matter going on- Revenge, love, growing old, legacies... Awesome.
Also, I promise that my endorsement of this book is not affected by the fact that Graywolf is publishing the US edition in March 2012. Honest. This book is straight legit. I am, however, super excited that we're going to be publishing the US edition in March 2012.
The end of th...more
I've often thought of people l...more
This novel is set in a time forty years in the future, and that future does indeed look bleak. Although it's the people who play the biggest part in that...more
I finished it the other day. It's not actually that similar to this other thing. But it kind of is from far enough away.
Firstly, I'd be really interested to hear the opinions of any non-Irish out there who've read this. The whole novel is narrated b...more
It is a very imaginative and inventive (even the language) story that keeps you engaged to find out what will happen next. The meanings of words and terms u...more
It begins with a wave of tainted air blowing in off the Bohane river. Cutting through that "sweet badness" is Logan Hartnett, the Long Fella, the Albino, a man who runs things in this city—and this novel, City of Bohane. It begins in long shot: Hartnett is seen walking not long after a knifing. Walking upright, shoulders back, like a general. Walking home from a declaration of war.
It is October, some time in the early 2050's, and winter in this west-coast Irish city has a bitter edge to it. Desp...more
In this future, or alternative universe, language is much changed. For some this will mean an original refreshing novel, for some (myself) this will mean a confusing mash of bizarre prose and difficult to follow plot.
While an obvious comparison is made to A Clockwork Orange, Barry fails to achieve the same level of moral, political and personal c...more
Set in the fictional and futuristic city of Bohane, somewhere in the West of Ireland in 2053, this is a dark and harrowing tale that is at turns horrific and stunning. For all the memorable and well-dressed characters, gripping plot twists, and brillian...more
If the best novels teach their readers how to read them, Kevin Barry certainly has that ambition in City of Bohane. What is nearly nonsensical in the opening 15 pages of this novel feels nearly natural in its closing 15. Barry has the Irish affliction of sacrificing clarity for...more
Set forty years in the future in a fictional city on Ireland’s windswept western seaboard, City of Bohane details the power struggles and emotional crises of several underworld figures, primarily Logan Hartnett, who commands the most powerful mob and ostensibly has Bohan...more
Book 1: The Sea, suicide by drowning
Book 2: The Gathering, suicide by drowning
Book 3: Skippy Dies, suicide
Book 4: The Master, drowning
Book 5: City of Bohane, graphic depiction of a disembowelling and several other atrocities
Yes, in a world of dark, dark people, Kevin Barry is the darkest of them all.
It's the near-future...more
As the story opens, the city 'had taken to the winter like an old dog to its blanket'. Bohane is over-run with street gangs. The reader will need to hang tough with the street jargon and just roll with it. Context is kin...more
I mean, I really, thoroughly, enjoyed it before returning it to the local library.
The dialect is quick, sharp, and often snarky. The characters are vivid ( to say the least ), propelling you through an alternate Irish universe rife with warring gangs, drugs, winding, dilapidated streets, and a darkening mood of pride, loyalty, and superstition. It's a thrill ride of a book that will get you alternatively squirming or laughing publicly. A cacophonous, wandering plot you...more
The author, clearly, has a gifted ear for sound and language. But he isn't ver...more
I had to make a couple starts on this book. Reading the story of this power struggle between two old antagonists and the younger up-and-coming was like trying to read a book in a language you only half understood. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention, but it certain increased the discomfort level in reading about a city that's gone to hell in something a lot bigger than a handbasket.
Once I got into the book, I fou...more