City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
A Novel

69%

12 Critic Reviews

...lushness doesn’t also translate into depth, though, which is City Of Bohane’s biggest problem: its fascinating writing isn’t matched by a fascinating story.
-AV Club

Synopsis

* Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Book Award in the First Novel category *

A blazingly original, wildly stylish, and pulpy debut novel

"City of Bohane, the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels. They are all literary marvels, of course: marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy." —Pete Hamill, The New York Times Book Review (front page)

Forty or so years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the North Rises, and the eerie bogs of the Big Nothin' that the city really lives. For years it has all been under the control of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. They say Hartnett's old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight.

 

About Kevin Barry

See more books from this Author
Kevin Barry is the author of City of Bohane and two story collections. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, and was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by Graywolf Press. 287 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Crime, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for City of Bohane
All: 12 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Dec 05 2011

Barry’s addictive dialect and faultless confidence make this volatile novel a rare treat.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Pete Hamill on Mar 29 2012

Reading this novel, with all of its violence, I also felt a kind of joy exuding from its author. The joy of finding, and sustaining, a voice.

Read Full Review of City of Bohane : A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Scarlett Thomas on May 13 2011

This debut marks him out as a writer of great promise.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Rowan Kaiser on Apr 02 2012

...lushness doesn’t also translate into depth, though, which is City Of Bohane’s biggest problem: its fascinating writing isn’t matched by a fascinating story.

Read Full Review of City of Bohane : A Novel | See more reviews from AV Club

San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin Canfield on Apr 01 2012

...a hugely imaginative piece of visual storytelling as crafted by a young master of the form.

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Independent.ie

Excellent
Reviewed by Hilary White on May 01 2012

It will go on to teach valuable lessons to Barry's successors, reminding them of the places the written word can bring you to and that there is always beauty to be eked out of dark and sinister corners of human existence.

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Independent.ie

Below average
Mar 26 2011

...a novel requires particular qualities... that aren't essential, or sometimes even required, in the shorter form. On this showing, the author has yet to command these qualities.

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ForeWord Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Trina Carter on Feb 29 2012

...the sentences are sinuous, the images dense, and the voices as singular as the Bohane creation itself.

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Baltimore City Paper

Excellent
Reviewed by Andrea Appleton on Mar 21 2012

...the narrator’s gritty, knowing voice gradually takes hold, and you begin to gain an intuitive grasp for the argot and character of Bohane. By then, you are well and truly hooked.

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Jennifer Udden

Below average
Reviewed by Jennifer Udden

Under all this style, City of Bohane could do with a bit more spirit.

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Seeing the World Through Books

Below average
Reviewed by Mary Whipple on Mar 17 2012

The novel itself seems to be a sum of many unusual parts without an over-riding thematic structure or focus to bring it all together in the kind of resolution which echoes beyond the level of plot.

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Mark O'Connell

Good
Reviewed by Mark O'Connell on May 22 2011

...a work of pure and unrestrained imagination, both in its linguistic resourcefulness and its vivid depiction of a small, crime-ridden west of Ireland city in the year 2053.

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Reader Rating for City of Bohane
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 105 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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