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Lukuhetkiä pimeässä

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  2,839 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
Seamus Deanen Lukuhetkiä pimeässä on lumoava kertomus Pohjois-Irlannissa asuvan katolisen perheen elämästä pienen pojan silmin klatsottuna. Köyhyyden kova todellisuus, saaren tarut ja Irlannin kahtiajaon tuomat levottomuudet sulautuvat romaanissa lähes taianomaiseksi tarinaksi.

Lukuhetkiä pimeässä on ensimmäinen irlantilainen kirja, jolle IrishTimes myönsi vuoden parhaan ir
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published 1998 by Gummerus (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
The book begins with an epigraph from "She Moved Through the Fair":

The people were saying no two were e'er wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said.

Those two lines carry the essence of the story. The long-term consequences of keeping secrets are at the heart of Reading in the Dark.

The unnamed narrator describes his Catholic boyhood in Derry in the 40s and 50s. Both his parents' families have secrets held since the time of the Troubles in the 1920s.
As the protagonist moves from boyhood into
Paul Bryant
Well, the blurbs on the back say: "Marvellous...almost impossible to put down" (Independent on Sunday) and "A profoundly emotive and seamlessly structured exploration of loss and regret. It is also funny and authentic. What more could one ask of a book?" My boorish response, however, is


So it's all about this boy growing up in Northern Ireland with his mother going round the twist and some great big family secret hanging over them like a dentist's drill, all about the grandfather and the unc
Patrick O'Neil
Sep 01, 2008 Patrick O'Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re Irish, then you’ve probably got a crazy uncle who occasionally comes home from the pub singing “The Boys of 98” at the top of his lungs at three in the morning or your grandmother, after she slipped a little whiskey in your milk to help you sleep, tells you tales of Old Eire that make the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales look like gobshite. If you’re not, well, then you have to read Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark to truly get a glimpse of the Irish experience – notably the Northern Iris ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, irish
Deane presents Reading in the Dark as a “novel” and I am unclear as to how much is fact and how much is fiction. Much of what he wrote about the dynamic of the Irish family situation rings very true in my own reality. Irish families are a topic close to my heart. His discussion of the things left unsaid in Irish family life rings true and is echoed in many other books about Irish and Irish-American culture, ranging from Alice Carey’s I’ll Know it When I See it, to Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't finish this one...which is very rare for me. The quality of the writing was good, however there was no connection between each chapter leaving me disconnected from the book. There were no consistent characters to bond with and no story to lose oneself in. And, having just visited Ireland, I was looking forward to this read.
Aug 28, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books; I've probably given away 15 copies of this book. Much like Graham Swift's Waterland, this is an impeccably written, elegantly crafted novel. Much prefer this treatment of Irish family life to Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes.
A collection of vignettes that gradually coalesce to form a complete narrative revolving around family, death, loyalty, and love. Short, sweet, and stunning, with beautiful, simple writing.
Nov 19, 2011 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading In The Dark is a first person account of an extraordinary childhood. On the surface, the family seems to be stable enough. They are Catholics and the novel’s narrator is about half way along his parents progeny. Nothing special there...

They are not rich, and apparently not poor. They get by. The lad explores the neighbourhood, makes friends, starts school. Eventually he proves to be quite academic and he clearly goes from personal success to further personal success.

But all the time ther
May 30, 2007 Caoileann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
tis is very special. Making me feel all colloquial-like, man dear, boys'o, it's a queer bit o writtin...

This is marvellous. Moving, sensitive but not at all slushy or saccharin. It is tender, haunting, and left me feeling quite emotionally fragile after finish it. Ah, Seamus Deane
Colleen Browne
Dec 08, 2016 Colleen Browne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secrets and lies can wreak havoc on a family but when the family lives in the city of Derry in the North of Ireland during the troubles, the secrets can be more dangerous especially when the secret is connected to the troubles. Seamus Deane has written a beautiful, dramatic, and touching novel about a family whose secrets are just too hard to bear. I highly recommend this book. It is the kind of book that makes reading addictive.
Aug 18, 2007 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is feeling nostalgic.
I'd been working on a book based in Ireland where the protagonists were two brothers so this looked liked the perfect reference material for me. I think my memory of the book has suffered because I was reading the book with a purpose in mind rather than enjoying it in its own right. The political edge to the book annoyed me because politics in general annoys me but in order to be accurate it needed to be there.

When I first picked it up to add to my bookshelf I thought I'd remembered nothing abou
Put aside at pg 172 but not quite ready to abandon and have no idea when or if I'll return to it. Lovely writing but old-old, hate to say but almost stale Irish story of IRA "ghosts." Deane's language makes it fairly fresh, but not enough to keep me going. Problem is I've read so much Irish lit, past and present, on the same subject, and it becomes like reading yet another work on evil legacy of American slavery: there's Morrison's Beloved and there's everything else. And Deane, though talented, ...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
This book read exactly like a memoir. Although it was quite serious in subject matter (Irish independence), there were a couple of really humorous chapters describing the narrator's experiences in the classroom. The family dynamics pulled at my heartstrings, especially since the author had the uncanny ability to let the reader easily figure out plot twists on one's own with subtle hints.
Dec 29, 2007 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I've read this book three times now. I'm not certain I'll ever perfectly understand it. What I know is that the author has me in his hold; I will follow him wherever this story goes.
Jul 27, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book rather strikes me as a 'marmite' book, you will either love or hate it depending on your taste. However, it could also be desribed as an onion as it peels back differing layers revealing the conflicts that there are in all families, although in this case these are exasapated by the fact that the boy is a Catholic growing up in Northern Ireland with all it's sectarian divides. You see religious, political, familial,social and parent-child divides throughout but you also see that the dec ...more
Michael Johnston
I'm not sure I could say anything about this book other than that it is, in a word, brilliant. Written about a place Deane knew quite well, the book has that rare gift of making the reader feel intimately familiar with a place and a people he has never seen. Questions of truth, family history and the often-messy result of keeping it hidden, as well as vendetta and guilt by association, riddle the book. There are questions as to how much of the book is fiction and how much is fictionalized fact; ...more
Sep 21, 2014 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joyce has Stephen Daedalus say that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake," and the narrator of Seamus Deane's novel could just as well say the same. Politics, religion, and family secrets are the threads that entwine to create this Irish history, one that sounds like a memoir but evidently is not. The story is told in short bursts, snapshots of family history that piece together at the end to tell a coherent but somewhat tragic tale. All of which might make for a glum and depr ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, english, ireland
'Reading In The Dark' is a childhood story, and in many ways a coming-of-age story of an unnamed Irish boy. The main narrative features a family secret, of which everyone thinks they know the truth. Much of the secret remains obscured though, because of a wild variety of reasons. The most fascinating aspect of this book, however, was how it uses old family legend and regional folklore together with a more serious approach of issues like the Irish struggle for independence of thought. I especiall ...more
Oct 28, 2009 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another book I read for my Northern Ireland class at Notre Dame, which is where Seamus Deane teaches part of the time. He came to visit my class after we'd finished reading it, and I think the entire class mostly gazed at him in awe while he sat with us to discuss it. It is a haunting book, a beautiful book, and ultimately a very tragic book. About the power of secrets, the value of keeping them and not keeping them. It's a very complicated book as well. I remember the class having a who ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
What we remember, but do not say. What we suspect or deduce, but will not utter. What has been done to us, by those who did it "for" us. And the lengths a child will go to suss it all out, despite the price, and despite the answers, imagined or real. Do all lives lived under foreign occupation take on such unflinching, yet such self mortifying aspect? When divide and conquer is the rule of the day, what becomes of those under the sword who, willingly or unwillingly, with full knowledge or unwitt ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Pamela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The writing was beautiful, the pace slow, and at times, puzzled me as I tried to figure out where the book was going. But it slowly came together to tell the story of betrayal and guilt and the ripple affects that are felt beyond the first generation. I can't say enough about the writing, which evokes the times, the place, the poetry of the Irish. I actually wished for more drama because the story and the betrayal are really quite dramatic.
Jul 29, 2015 Vaiga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Viena iš tokių knygų, kur pradėjus skaityti nelabai patraukė, bet pabaigus galvoju, kad labai patiko. Pagrindinis veikėjas po nuogirdą aiškinasi nemalonią giminės paslaptį ir tuo pačiu istorija aprašoma lipdant padrikas detales vieną po kitos, nieko nepaaiškinant iš anksto, kol galiausiai viskas paaiškėja. Toks pasakojimo stilius labai susitiprina knygos nuotaiką.
Aug 25, 2008 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seamus Deane writes like a poet (possibly because he IS a poet). A gripping tale of family conflict which reflects the external Catholic/Protestant conflict of Derry, Northern Ireland.
Dec 17, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Haunting tale of a family twisted by secrets and a society in conflict with itself. Set in Ireland in the 1940s and 50s Reading in the Dark follows a young, unnamed, Catholic boy growing up during one of the many periods of violent conflict between the Protestant and Catholic communities.

The Derry of this tale is a dark place, deeply divided and filled with fear. There is little trust between friends or even family members and secrets are tearing everyone apart. So much of the story is about tho
Natxo Cruz
No és un llibre fàcil. Al llarg de les pàgines es va composant un mosaic mitjançant petits retalls i pedaços que poc a poc expliquen un terrible secret familiar enterrat en el temps i en la història de la Irlanda convulsa del segle XX. Molt per descobrir entre línees, mereix una relectura (bastant) més endavant.
Nov 03, 2016 Randi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully, lyrically written. Deane's prose leaps off the page. And I mean this as a very high '3'. The problem was, it just didn't intrigue me. I cannot explain why.
Pretty interesting set up, but just didn't speak to me.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2015 adriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many plot summaries describe the book as a "coming-of-age" tale, or highlight the weight of Irish myth in the story. I didn't feel either were very apt descriptions of "Reading in the Dark". There is clearly an element of growth in the book, given he account spans several years of the life of the protagonist, but I'd say his whole journey is about the pursuit of truth and understanding of his own family history, and through that of the history of the community he is part of. Set in Northern Irel ...more
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Endicott Mythic F...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Reading in the Dark - Who's Reading? / Discussion 1 9 Jun 29, 2015 03:55PM  
  • Amongst Women
  • The Deposition of Father McGreevy
  • House of Splendid Isolation
  • Grace Notes
  • Resurrection Man
  • The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty
  • The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments / The Snapper / The Van
  • The Last September
  • The Butcher Boy
  • One by One in the Darkness
  • Fools of Fortune
  • Pascali's Island
  • Translations
  • Eureka Street
  • Inventing Ireland
  • The Year of the French
  • The Book of Evidence
  • Our Fathers
Poet, critic, novelist, and educator. Professor of Irish studies at Notre Dame University in Indiana USA. Educated at Queen's College, Belfast, and Pembroke College, Cambridge University, England.
More about Seamus Deane...

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“Paradise was not far away when I died” 4 likes
“People with green eyes were close to the fairies, we were told; they were just here for a little while, looking for a human child they could take away. If we ever met anyone with one green and one brown eye we were to cross ourselves, for that was a human child that had been taken over by the fairies. The brown eye was the sign it had been human. When it died, it would go into the fairy mounds that lay behind the Donegal mountains, not to heaven, purgatory, limbo or hell like the rest of us. These strange destinations excited me, especially when a priest came to the house of a dying person to give the last rites, the sacrament of Extreme Unction. That was to stop the person going to hell. Hell was a deep place. You fell into it, turning over and over in mid-air until the blackness sucked you into a great whirlpool of flames and you disappeared forever.” 4 likes
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