Pierce's Reviews > Death and Nightingales

Death and Nightingales by Eugene McCabe
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Jan 28, 09

Read in January, 2009

This is a fine novel and worth a read. It was a Christmas present from Mam. I had an idea that Eugene McCabe was a dark playwright but I think I was mixing him up with Pat McCabe. This might be his only novel but he has some short stories.

There's a kind of unevenness in it, maybe? It opens with a very difficult and very impressive few pages, but then loosens up into something more smooth but a bit less forehead-slapping. Perhaps I just got used to his style.

Interesting to get a story about both Protestant landowners and Catholic employees, without particular bias towards either, especially at this key historical time (Parnell making shapes, etc). The story is a traditional dramatic setpiece, there's a good air of mystery and darkness about the whole thing. It's very possible I'm missing some broader metaphor for land-ownership or political turmoil in 19th century Ireland but there's not much information about it online.

Update: Whoa. Just found this thing where he tells that it's based, very largely, on a true story. Spoilers, of course. The whole thing is, apparently, a foreshadow of future political turmoil. Of course.
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