Elizabeth's Reviews > The Whereabouts Of Eneas McNulty

The Whereabouts Of Eneas McNulty by Sebastian Barry
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's review
Sep 23, 2009

Read in September, 2009 , read count: 1

I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as The Secret Scripture, and I'm glad I read that first because if I'd read this first I wouldn't have bothered with the other. However, I think this is a writer who is gaining in mastery and elegance with successive books, rather than churning them out for the sake of word count.

I won't recount the plot here, but I will comment that part of the reason I wanted to read this was to get a different view of Roseanne Clear, the main character in The Secret Scripture. And what a different view it is. Identical events simply do not match up across the two books; and given that The Secret Scripture was so focused on the unreliability of memory and history and personal slant, it made sense anyway. And gave the reader a lot to think about. What really did happen?

The voice of this narrative gives the curious effect of being told in an Irish accent and I found it a bit tedious after a while. Still, very readable and often moving.
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Quotes Elizabeth Liked

Sebastian Barry
“A Ford motorcar is a magical thing in the night with the spraying lamps against the pitch road and the smell of metal and perfume under the clothy roof.”
Sebastian Barry, The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ken (last edited Feb 10, 2010 08:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ken Perkins I agree with this review completely, on all points. I read "Scripture" first as well and liked it more, although I gave "Eneas" 3 stars rather than 2. I also agree that the colloquial Irish is over the top; fortunately, he toned it down in "Scripture", although all his writing is quite good. I also liked the comparison between the two descriptions of the same events, with "Eneas" seeming to be more supportive of the priest's version in "Scripture" than Roseanne's journal.

Layla Ward I realize these comments were written years ago, but wanted to add my agreement. I liked "scripture" more than "Eneas". However the Irish speak didn't bother me. In fact I felt it was missing in the secret scripture.

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