Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

77%

6 Critic Reviews

...these skilfully crafted narratives leave you questioning your own estimations of the human condition.
-Guardian

Synopsis

An award-winning collection from the author of City of Bohane, which was hailed by Pete Hamill as "full of marvels" (The New York Times Book Review)
* Short-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award * Winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award * One of last year's most critically acclaimed books in the UK * A Guernica Best Book of the Year * A Library Journal "Best Indie Fiction of 2013" *

Dark Lies the Island is a wickedly funny and hugely original collection of stories about misspent love and crimes gone horribly wrong. In the Sunday Times Short Story Award–winning "Beer Trip to Llandudno," a pack of middle-aged ale fanatics seeking the perfect pint find more than they bargained for. A pair of sinister old ladies prowl the countryside for a child to make their own. And a poet looking for inner calm buys an ancient inn on the west coast of Ireland but finds instead rancorous locals and catastrophic floodwaters.
Kevin Barry's dazzling language, razor-sharp ear for the vernacular, and keen eye for the tragedies and comedies of daily life invest these tales with a startling vitality. Dark Lies the Island was short-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and as one of the most acclaimed collections in Europe in many years, it heralds the arrival of a new master of the short story.

 

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 September 24, 2013 by Graywolf Press. 194 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Dark Lies the Island
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Nolan on Sep 27 2013

For Barry’s characters, language is a struggle and a hobby and an art. In the book’s best story, a blocked poet buys a hotel in stormy Killary where he pulls pints and eavesdrops, hoping to pick up some local color.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Henry Krempels on Apr 07 2012

...these skilfully crafted narratives leave you questioning your own estimations of the human condition.

Read Full Review of Dark Lies the Island | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Jul 01 2013

There are a lot of pleasures to be had in Barry’s short story collection. First, there’s his way with language—a bent form of Irish that makes the most mundane exchange...

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Steve Emmett on Jul 01 2013

With so many short stories the conclusion is obvious long before the last page. Not so with Mr. Barry’s work. The only certainty is that the end will be a surprise—and most probably a shock. Dark Lies the Island is a terrific little book that demands a follow-up very soon.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Canfield on Sep 21 2013

...this collection leaves no doubt that he’s earned all that’s come his way. Deeply humane and immensely funny, “Dark Lies the Island” is another testament to his many talents.

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Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Jan 08 2014

A few pieces are more like sketches than stories. This can be fine. One, in which the main event is a kiss that doesn’t “take,” has an endearing simplicity. Another, about a random act of cruelty against a schedule-obsessed, possibly autistic boy, on the other hand, struck me as inchoate.

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Reader Rating for Dark Lies the Island
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 23 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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