A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
A Novel

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Praised as a “master storyteller” (The Wall Street Journal) and hailed for his “flawless use of language” (Boston Herald), Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.

In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side.  Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie’s personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.


About Sebastian Barry

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SEBASTIAN BARRY's plays have been produced in London, Dublin, Sydney, and New York. His novel A Long Long Way was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, as was The Secret Scripture, which was also a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award, and the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction, as well as the Irish Novel of the Year. Barry lives in Wicklow, Ireland, with his wife and three children.
Published February 3, 2005 by Penguin Books. 316 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Back on the front, Willie no longer has Gretta, is despised by the Irish nationalists for serving England, by the loyalists for sympathizing with the nationalists, and by the English for being Irish.

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The Guardian

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A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry (294pp, Faber, £12.99) The Family on Paradise Pier by Dermot Bolger (550pp, Fourth Estate, £17.99) "History", says James Joyce's alter ego Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses, "is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

May 07 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Long Way: A Novel

The Guardian

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A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry Faber £12.99, pp304 Like the rest of his generation, the hero of Sebastian Barry's fourth novel was born at the wrong time, in the 'dying days of the century', which made him just old enough to enlist at the outbreak of the First World War.

Apr 03 2005 | Read Full Review of A Long Long Way: A Novel

A Work in Progress

In a book I was reading not so long ago a character was thinking about a young policeman who was meant to be protecting her and she felt slightly apprehensive about his age, he being not so much older than she.

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of A Long Long Way: A Novel

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