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Long Time, No See

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  59 reviews
The funny, moving, long-awaited masterwork from "Ireland’s finest living novelist" (Roddy Doyle)

Celebrated Irish author Dermot Healy’s first novel in more than ten years is a rich, beguiling, compassionate, and wonderfully funny story about community, family, love, and bonds across generations.

Set in an isolated coastal town in northwest Ireland, Long Time, No See centers
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Hardcover, 448 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Viking (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Fionnuala
Reviewed in December 2012

Reading is like being a fisherman; we sail out from terra firma with high hopes and we trawl the sea of words in search of a catch that will make the trip worthwhile. When the catch contains a species we recognise, one that is associated in our memory with great experiences, so much the better.

If reading Dermot Healy’s Long Time, No See had been a fishing trip, my net would have been very full, and the variety of fish it contained would have been both exotic and comfort
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Rebecca McNutt
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ireland
Long Time, No See captures all the spirit of Ireland without the political banter that many other fiction works set in Ireland seem to revel in. Instead, this is very much a people-driven story - it has numerous events and heavy themes, and the plot is not exactly linear or easy to describe, but it's a great story, and one which ends up showing readers what really matters most in life. While the book leaves some loose ends which may only be frustrating for many readers, it's also a very short, s ...more
A. Mary
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-novels
I love this book. I love the people. I love the way they treat each other. The way they love each other. Healy treats his characters so gently, takes such care with them, has such a delicate touch. There are no throwaway characters, no unnecessary incidents, no pointless details. This is the story of a community, the story of a season or two, of lives that are completely intertwined, with some magic and loss and hilarity. I love everything about it. It's a book I'll read again.
Tony
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tony by: Fionnuala
Shelves: irish
You're a good man, Mister Psyche. That's only one of Philip Feeney's names. And he is a good man. He is.

Philip is the protagonist of this very different book. It came recommended highly from friends, here in Goodreads and in real life. And it is different, not in any experimental way, not post-modern, not minimalist either.

I kept waiting for something to happen. A rifle is introduced early, and we know what Chekhov said. But maybe Dermot Healy never read Chekhov. Hippies appear. Angry dogs. I f
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Alan
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
someone on facebook had this on their feed, and I want to acknowledge but can't now find! Anyway the feed led me to this review by none other than Annie Proulx: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2011...
I'm already a fan of his short stories (Banished Misfortune). Beautiful, and also enjoyed his novel Sudden Times.
So, off to the library...

...70 pages in, another Irish book but so different from the last one - A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. [Now finished] The latter was intense, anguished, difficul
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Andrew
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever read a book all the way through and felt that you missed something really big? You get that unsettling feeling that perhaps the whole thing is one big allegory that you failed to get. Or maybe you were daydreaming through the crucial paragraph that knits the whole book together.

That's the feeling I had after reading Long Time, No See. The quality of the writing was excellent throughout, and Dermot Healy spent 11 years writing this book, so I'm sure he had something important to say
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Steve Petherbridge
Dermot Healy died suddenly June 29th, 2914. With John McGahern, he was probably the best writer of this Irish generation. As a poet, Seamus Heaney described him as the heir to Patrick Kavanagh. As a social commentator, through his novels that I have read, he would be cut from the same stone as McGahern and John B. Keane, and the more modern Roddy Doyle. Healy and McGahern captured decent people in intimate rural communities, people who depended on and supported each other. Rich dialects were tra ...more
Deborah aka Reading Mom
I am so sorry that I evidently couldn't "get" the "charm" or "message" of this book. Most reviewers seemed to be enchanted with it, believing each character was well fleshed out, treated gently and with grace in the prose,but I had to abandon it early on before I went stark raving mad.I am well acquainted with Irish literature and humor and love most all of it that I read. I found this novel hard to follow and could not muster up interest in the characters or their lives.I couldn't follow who wa ...more
Ann-marie Dolan
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Discovering a book that, upon its reading, makes you feel like you've come home is a rarity and yet this is exactly how I felt about Long Time, No See. Our narrator has just finished school and is spending the summer taking care of his grand-uncle, Joe-Joe, and Joe-Joe's best friend, The Blackbird. What should be an easy task is complicated by strange nocturnal occurrences and also by the men's endearing stubbornness. Healy takes mundane events and imbues them with a mystical quality. Not only t ...more
Wif
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memorable characters on the Donegal coast - not much plot but wonderful dialogue and a tinge of Joycean surrealism.
Mae
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
The Irish and the Irish way of life. Funny, sad, clever and wise. This is a side of Ireland that perhaps the Irish know well, but as a visitor it is perhaps a privilege to enter this world. The story starts with the coming and goings of a young lad, Psyche. We move into his home, with his parents. For the next 400 pages we will visits his granduncle and many of the villages Characters. The love demonstrated amongst this family and this community if frankly heartwarming.
As I read this book, I kep
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Stephen
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My introduction to Dermot Healy was, unfortunately, his death notice late last month in the Irish press.

In this novel set during recent times in a rural area in the West of Ireland, death is always near, as accidental death, and then later, age and infirmaties, overtake first friends and then a relative. Nursing and aging with dignity at home among family and familiar touchstones are important themes.

When death comes, the dead are waked at home, candles are burned in the windows, the coffin sup
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Gina
A very lovely read. The kind of book that develops a world and people you enjoy being with. The prose is beautifully and skillfully written. The setting is ethereal in ways. But I felt that the synopsis was misleading. I was waiting around for more most of the time. Will Mister Psyche have a breakdown or pivotal moment? Who shot the hole in Joejoe's window after all? I suspect that the whole book is just about life and how we just push through it the best we can and sometimes we don't get any an ...more
Rebecca Stuhr
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, and, after having put aside a couple of books without finishing them, it reminded me about how wonderful it can be to read an excellent novel. This story takes place in an Irish coastal village in 2006. The narrator is a young man who is just finishing school and preparing for college. We see all that he sees but it is more as though we are hearing what he hears and seeing what he sees. The novel has plot elements, but it isn't plot driven. Overall, we realize what doesn't cha ...more
Stacy Margaret Allan
This book is really good. It takes you away to a place in Ireland where people are so close to each other, they can read each other's feelings so well. Tourists are treated as family. I just loved it. I would recommend this book to anyone.
El En
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely took me someplace new: rural Ireland. The characters were interesting. It's a slice of life type of novel. I had to get used to the writing style of no quotation marks. It's quirky, that's the best way to describe this novel. It's sweet.
Martina
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The poetry of everyday life and human interaction. It feels like a ballad, gorgeous pace and language. I loved it.
Stacy
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this ARC free from Goodreads First Reads.

Long Time, No See is the literary equivalent of viewing a butterfly wing under a microscope and seeing how each of the individual scales has a beauty of its own, while still appreciating the exquisiteness of the whole. In this case, we have an examination of the minutiae of the daily life of an Irish teen in a close-knit, small community. While each day just seems to be one more of the same 'ol, same 'ol--working odd jobs around town, checking
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Chris
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: won-on-goodreads
I just won this book on GoodReads. It was listed as a "Galley Giveaway" by Viking! I look forward to reading "Long Time, No See" by Dermot Healy and sharing my thoughts.

I am thrilled to be part of the GoodReads community which has gives me the opportunity to find out about and to read books I might not otherwise encounter. Thanks Again!

Debated on giving this book a three or a four....Lovely writing and I really did end up liking it, but about a quarter of the way through I was ready to put it do
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Laura
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own
I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway. It was an "advanced proof" so I'm not sure what changes were made in the final edition. This was an entertaining story of a small seaside town in Ireland. It's a leisurely-paced novel whose characters grew on me as I moved through the stories of their daily lives. I enjoyed the book, but did not LOVE it. Two difficulties I had were the conversations without quotation marks. I got used to it, but at times was confusing. Also, being American, I was unfamili ...more
Johanna
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The thing that strikes you from the very beginning of this book is the author's bold and definitely unique style which, though I have to admit was a bit of a challenge for me to read at first, I was able to acclimate to quickly, and ultimately came to enjoy.

Healy writes with a frankness that is not very common in novels, using abrupt dialogues and plain and simple words that make the story real -and not only real but natural, which is quite a challenge for writers to actually accomplish. Add to
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Reading Fool
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways, 2013
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

The story, set in a coastal town in Ireland, revolves around the everyday life of a cast of characters. The protagonist is Philip Feeney, aka Mr. Psyche, a young man who survived a car accident that killed his friend. He spends most of time with his granduncle Joejoe and his friend Blackbird, both of whom are much older than Philip. There are many adventures that involve many people, some from the town and some who are just traveling through
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Heather
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book especially because it was a gift from my husband who thought the back cover sounded like something I'd love. I did like the characters and how they treated and cared for one another. My fondness of the characters is the reason I gave this book two stars instead of one star.

But I did not enjoy Healy's style of writing at all nor did I enjoy the story. I read 400 or so pages clinging to the hope that something would soon materialize, that something big and revealing was
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Courtney
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, fiction
I received this book as part of the First Reads program. This is one of those books that more captures a time and place than a plot driven narrative. In that way it reminded me a bit of Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. The place, near as I can tell because it isn't explicitly stated, is coastal Ireland; the time is current, though it felt old fashioned, in fact with the removal of a few references to cell phones and the like, it's almost timeless. And the story, as such, is one of family and frienship ...more
Jenny
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think that I would like this book when I started it. Odd punctuation, no quotation marks. The characters had multiple odd nicknames. I carried on reading it because my young daughter had chosen it for me as a gift, and I didn't want to disappoint her. After a few chapters, it started growing on me. I became so captivated by this book. I felt like I knew how the characters looked, sounded and smelled. I have finished the book and I miss them. One of the cover blurbs describes it best: 'A ...more
Geoff
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up Dermot Healy's Long Time, No See because a reviewer talked of Healy's ability to create Place. What I found was a writer whose lyrical prose captures the rhythms of everyday life depicting Place. The novel follows Mister Psyche, a young man full of melancholia - nostalgia - PTSD: "This was my day - to - day life since college ended - cutting lawns, and hedges, driving tractors, digging gardens and building walls, and looking after Joejoe and taking his lobsters from his pots out the ...more
Andrewhouston
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think I loved this book! I say I think because the characters are so charming almost to the point of being hokey. The writing and dialogue have a beautiful rhythm to it that is poetic but it never seems to be trying to impress you. The whole thing is so simple and plain and at the same time very strange. There is much that is left unsaid and mysterious and I am impressed that although you keep reading wanting certain mysteries to be revealed, they never are.
Tracy
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
If you like literary fiction written with the skill of a Master, if you're comfortable visiting the "Strange Terrain" of poetry that Alice B. Fogel describes in her book of that title (a dreamlike landscape built of shape, words, sound, images, and emotion, in which not everything readily makes rational "sense"), if you like quirky characters, and if you have an interest in Ireland, you'll like this book.

I enjoyed it.
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Phyllis
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writing that left me feeling I knew these people and their old fashioned community, despite the setting being now. The dry humour and the way they cared for each other and welcomed strangers were all uplifting. However I did find I needed to stop and sort out some of the dialogue in my head, because of the lack of quotation marks.
Nancy
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another book the took a while for me to get into, but by the end I found it elegaic and very, very moving. Not surprising that Dermot Healy is a poet because this tale of Mister Psyche and his small, but loving world of beautifully drawn characters is very like a long and wonderful poem. As Roddy Doye said it is "Funny, sad, wild, tender, profound and brilliant.."
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Dermot Healy (born 1947 in Finnea, County Westmeath, Ireland) was an Irish novelist, playwright, and poet. He won the Hennessy Award (1974 and 1976), the Tom Gallon Award (1983), and the Encore Award (1995). In 2011, he was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award for his poetry collection, A Fool's Errand.

Healy was a member of Aosdána and of its governing body, the Toscaireacht, and lived in County S
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“Jesus. I had a dream last night too.
You had.
I dreamt that my Grandma had just died yesterday.
Dear God.
And she had died long before I was born.
He looked at me with astounded eyes, and felt his neck, and then he patted my knee. Aisy son, he said.
Why did I dream her?
Because you never met her. The dead you never met die a little bit every day in your head.”
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“...and he suddenly opened his eyes and stared straight ahead into an empty space till slowly we returned into view. I can make small talk, he said slowly, I can do that but out of the corner of my eye I can see the dark approaching.” 5 likes
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