How to Train a Cowboy dHeescription of the NorthernSouthern Ireland conflicts the ifferences in even the life of the towns in even the life of the towns catches all that and wellThe most interesting character in the book was Catherine s father Jonathan Adams I honestly thought the book should have been about him A wonderful complex character Unlike the two leads who bored me with their endless runken shenanigans and whining Healy what a gifted writerA Goat s Song is free of those novelistic tricks and turns that make fiction laborious free from that awful sense of writerly contrivance that pollutes so many novels It s so full of irrepressible human truth and lifeWonderful wonderful wonderful This reviewer has been out at sea three A Touch of Persuasion (Men Of Wolff Mountain days I ve been hurled and whirled up andown and backwards all at the same time been beaten up and chased by goats and had three barrels of rum gin brandy vodka Jack Daniels whisky whiskey potcheen and every other spirit of Irish moonshine poured own my throat What a way to spend Christmas If I recover I will say something about this brilliant novel A Goat s Song is what I would class a perfect contemporary Irish novel and a perfect Modern Love Story By love story by I mean star crossed love The real skill in the story is the format which flits forwards and backwards in time between ifferent characters and their perspectives but this is effortless Healy The Mommy Makeover does this with real skill It s rarely confusing always extremely literary but original and not laboured The story flows beautifully from Jack Ferris complex alcoholic writer fisherman lover to Jonathan Adams RUC man haunted by his failure in the church and violence in NI Hisesire to conuer Irish language and mythology land back to Catherine wreckless beautiful talented actress promiscuous flawed *real seeming characters caught up in their place in time tangled by * seeming characters caught up in their place in time tangled by politics of Ireland and NI The book spins a modern mythology with the tragedies of ordinary lives reflected in it The complex webs between the characters become a metaphor symbolic of the tragic relationship between Ireland and the North Two places that can never be together and can never be apart I The Convicts Bounty Bride (Convict Wives didn t know a lot of the context in which some of the events took place and the book set the scene for these really well which as an Irish person helped to explain this recent enough part of our country s history For example Iidn t know how sever the tensions were between people and how opening your mouth to express yourself was genuinely A River of Royal Blood (Untitled, dangerous At times the plot can meander a bit than I liked but this was a small flaw in brilliant bookThe scenery in Belmullet is like an added character I loved the occasional references to goats throughout the tale tooAdditionally the book is a very honest account of how alcoholism can play out in Ireland and this is rarely confronted so honestly in our novels films etc. Ncholy beauty resonates with theeepest truths” Boston Glob. ,
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This book was one I had meant to read for some time and when I heard it being name checked recently by Kevin Barry on a Top 5 books podcast that tipped the odds in its favourVery briefly it s about a tortured love affair set mostly in the Mullet peninsula of Mayo but with excursions also to Belfast and the heartland of Ulster Unionism The characters also seem to lead lives that encompass abnormal ie way too much levels of alcohol In fact it s pretty clear that the main character is a full blown alcoholicI think the way all of the places involved are escribed is first class you really get a sense of the elemental nature of life on the West coast and how the wind is ever present In Belfast there is a great sense of claustrophobic society how everyone seems to know what the other person is oing and what religion they adhere to The The Palliser Novels description of the way that the female character s father an RUC man finds a bolt hole on the West coast of Ireland is well handled and the examination of his prejudices and misconceptions is very credibleNo point in recycling the entire plot line but I really enjoyed the way the characters wererawn the sense of place in multiple locations and the way people talked was very true to life I thought the Men And Gods In Mongolia descriptions of nature were excellent and the use of language was lyrical there was a great flow to them On the negative side the bookid go on and on and on a bit however and some of the philosophising sections were hard to read It wandered a bit too much for my liking So not an unualified success and not a book to read if you give up easily but if you give it the time and make the effort
"It Will Give You Glimpses "will give you glimpses parts of Ireland and Irish society that Hunter Killer (Pike Logan don t normally get this level of interest And it is a very convincingissection of a number of key characters and a sense of of key characters and a sense of makes them tick A good book maybe not a great one though Jack Ferris is an Irish Catholic writer of plays occasional crew man on a trawler off the West Coast Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, deeply self obsessed and uite a serious alcoholic Catherine Adams is theaughter of a sergeant in the Royal Ulster Constabulary who had been a Loyalist and a fierce Presbyterian She is an actress starting out in her career which might be thought to supply a basis for a relationship and indeed we know from the start her career which might be thought to supply a basis for a relationship and indeed we know from the start this book that she is acting a part written by Jack with her in mind There are no serious spoilers in this review the book starts near the end of its story and travels back in time But there are an awful lot of obstacles to this affair lasting beyond the early flush of physical attraction a force known to undermine all sensible boundaries It seems to me that the novel concerns the efforts by Jack Ferris to understand the nature of those obstacles and to somehow evise a path through them that might translate lust in. An Irish playwright reimagines his estranged lover’s past in. ,
To love In the process we are shown many features of the sectarianism and that ivides Catholic from Protestant in Northern Ireland though it oes not seem to me that the book is intrinsically judgemental or inclined to either side The Issues Are Just There In The Foreground are just there in the foreground two lives in which politics has no part to play but cannot easily be escaped This makes it a Romeo and Juliet scenario in some ways The old stories are always a good model for the new I am interested in the language of this novel On Christmas morning in Chapter 6 Jack s alcholism is addressed and he writes He sat immobile in front of his esk His mind was trying to make a leap into the ark but his hands would not comply His thumb and forefinger were numb If he tried to write they froze And inside his head language no longer arrived grammatically but surfaced as a series of bizarre signs p60 All the same Dermot Healy sets out his account in the most grammatical and clearly precise terms and there is no uestion that he achieves his intended effect with great skill I wonder if
That Explains Why The Bookexplains why the book uite hard work at
Times And Took Aand took a long time for me to read There are signs at times of a struggle to achieve his esired effect If the language in his character s head is not grammatical why is the novel so grammatical If it is a series of bizarre signs then where are they on the page Don t get me wrong here I am not pouncing on a failing in the work of a very impressive writer and pointing out a blemish Rather I am thinking aloud and comparing this style of writing to alternatives such as that of Eimear McBride in A Girl Is a Half formed Thing I just find it an interesting idea to compare the two the apples and oranges the Whalerider different aspects of the one great project which is writing truthful fiction An astonishing gut wrenching heartbreaking masterpiece An intensely personal rambling poetic book telling the story of an alcoholic writer in rural Ireland One of the most beautiful books I ve read One of my favorite books of all time Pure poetic fiction about arunk who has lost the love of his life The sadness is so tangibly beautiful the imagery will sweep you away Simply put Healy is a master with words and A Goat Song Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex delivers in so many waysIts just one of those books I can never forget and think about often for no particular reason except for how well it is written When a book is this well written itoesn t matter what it s about I ll be reading everything by Dermot Healy that I can promise I gave it a 3 as parts of this book were excellent lyrical writingBUT and it s a big one The story meandered And meandered through lashings of Graphic Design For Everyone drink andrunken fights I idn t know what was real and what was imagined And perhaps I wasn t meant to but it added to the confusionThe good parts were very good This “rare and powerful book”E Annie Proulx whose “mela. .