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A lire la nuit

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,077 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
Fut-il un héros ou un traître, cet oncle Eddie, volontaire de l'IRA, dont la légende familiale prétend qu'il disparut en 1922 dans l'explosion d'une distillerie ? A Londonderry, dans les années 1950, le jeune narrateur, troisième enfant d'une famille d'ouvriers qui en compte sept, vit sous le joug de ce secret de famille, entre une mère étroitement liée au mystère et un pè ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published September 10th 1997 by Actes Sud (first published 1996)
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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 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 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 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 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.
Rima Rashid
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane was a beautiful story that showed how family secrets were tainted by the political conflict in Northern Ireland during the 'Troubles'.
As my second experience of Irish literature, I learnt how mythical folktales about green eyed children taken by fairies and communal anger about victims of police oppression in Derry really shaped the protagonist's identity.
Nov 19, 2011 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 24, 2007 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
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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...
“Paradise was not far away when I died” 5 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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