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We Are Not in the World
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We Are Not in the World

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails.
With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred.
As t
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Conor O'Callaghan's quintessentially Irish piece of literary fiction is beautifully written, lyrical and unsettling in its exploration of human frailties, family, love, loss, grief, regrets, emotional heartbreak and ghosts. Paddy has grown up in Ireland, and has acquired a haulage truck from a dying Howard, driving from England to France, embarking on a road trip, smuggling his daughter, Kitty, named after his mother, on board. Divorced, with a recent love affair with a married woman that has co ...more
We Are Not in the World is a haunting, tragic and highly original story of a father and daughter travelling across England and France in a haulage truck, and discovering more about their relationship and past in all its raw candour. A story that is deeply emotional and vividly brought to life through fragmented characters and unsettling backgrounds. A history where grief and loss are never too far. “Happiness comes and goes. It tends not to hang around. Unhappiness has a habit of outstayin
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Whither the plan, big guy?

She knows I hate her calling me that. I won't rise to her bait.

Short term? We wend our merry way out of this particular circle of hell, ideally without being stopped. Thereafter we hit the northern rim of Paris before sundown, check in with Carl at some pre-ordained routier. Thereafter egg, chips, bed. Long term? The two of us on the road, with only the occasional incoming or outgoing text to maintain radio contact and to stave off all search parties.

Roger Wi
Gumble's Yard
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I must have dropped a load at some point, but where and when I can’t remember. There must have been no pick-up. Now we’re just a cab. Now we’re doing what the super in the container at Dover said not to, heavy mileage without a load. A load is family. I see that. The load’s ballast gravitates you to a steady keel. Without it, I have felt all over the shop, buffeted by cross-winds, headlong and not enough to fix me to the ground.

This novel is the story of an Irishman man (Paddy), who has spe
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Regrets, missed opportunities and family hostilities are brought to the surface on a road trip through France, with the narrator musing about his fraught relationship with his daughter, who is along for the ride. As the journey progresses, the revelations become ever more hazy and ambiguous over the events which haunt the father’s mind, leaving the reader puzzling over the truth long afterward - though the title may offer a clue. A beautifully written and poignant portrayal of grief and loss.

May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the best things about this novel is its title. I am not being facetious. It sums up, in a brief poetic phrase, the predicament of its cast of characters, and, with each new chapter, it assumes additional layers of meaning.

The protagonist of the novel is Paddy, an Irishman. Having lived for several years in America with his wife and daughter, he relocates to England, closer to home, yet not quite. Like him, his daughter Kitty seems to live a displaced existence. In her native country, she
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'We are not in the world exactly. This is more the future we return to, its municipal spaces derelict or in some limbo of sublime incompletion. Nobody remembers us. There's nobody to remember. All old comrades, the ancient order, have fallen from memory into myth. The saddle is sliding off. We're sliding off with it and can't stop time happening.'

What is it with the Irish and this urge to write books or plays full of dialogue between two people? It's confessional, almost, a moment of connection
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Time does what time does best. We’re back on the road. Time slips underneath and gets sucked into a pinhole of past in a rearview’s middle distance.

This is an emotionally charged story told in that Irish way I love so much. Once I’d got used to the dialogue - no punctuation, unfinished sentences and having to concentrate to make out who was saying what - I could relax into the banter between the father and daughter on their road trip, using the time to reminisce about her and his childhoods and
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Paddy is a middle class man who has accepted a short term job driving an articulated lorry on a run from Northern England to France. This is supposed to take a week, there and back. Paddy has his daughter Kitty for company, unknown to Carl who is running the operation.

This is one of those novels where everything seems to be deliberately opaque. It's not clear what the lorry run is all about. Why has Paddy decided to do it? Why was he even asked? Why is his daughter with him? Who is Carl and why
Mar 19, 2020 added it

Reviewed under a different title :- 'I Have You Now'
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
We are not in the world focusses on truck driver, Paddy, as he makes his way to France with his daughter hidden in the back of his vehicle. As the novel progresses we learn more about Paddy’s backstory and the difficult relationship he has had with his mother, brother and daughter. We also see him trying to improve his relationship with his daughter on the journey.

Overall, there was a lot of focus on emotion and there were scenes between father and daughter that were very moving. Overall though
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Greif and regret on the road.

A haulier drives south through France, carrying a secret passenger, his estranged daughter. Over the course of their journey they attempt to heal the hurt.

O’Callaghan is reticent with detail, making the reader work hard. His narrative style of abbreviated dialogue and blurring memories with the present takes some getting used to. In particular, the truncated dialogue initially feels affected. But, as the journey progresses, the portrayal of missed opportunities turns
Jim Hanks
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paddy is a truck driver on his way from England to France. He brings his daughter Kitty along with him. The book is a little tough going at first but is rewarding in the end as the story touches on grief, love and family.
Even if I found part of this book engrossing and poignant it find hard to connect to the characters on a general level.
I think it's one of those cases "It's me not the story", not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
This is a rambling story about a girl connecting with her estranged father who is a trucker on a long delivery route with flashbacks to earlier times and meetigs with the sinister Cral, his father's boss/intermediary. I wanted to like this book but I just didn't connect with the characters or the writing style. It even took me quite a while at the start to work out if the the trucker was the girls father or mother or some other significant adult and what was actually going on with all the jumpin ...more
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