Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

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For all its apparent stylistic complexity, “Solar Bones” is a beautifully simple book. Death has not solved Marcus’s worldly problems, only offered a shift of scope, and this is what McCormack’s novel offers as well.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize
Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year 
An Irish Times Book Club Choice

"With stylistic gusto, and in rare, spare, precise and poetic prose, Mike McCormack gets to the music of what is happening all around us. One of the best novels of the year." —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic 

Solar Bones is a masterwork that builds its own style and language one broken line at a time; the result is a visionary accounting of the now.

A vital, tender, death-haunted work by one of Ireland’s most important contemporary writers, Solar Bones is a celebration of the unexpected beauty of life and of language, and our inescapable nearness to our last end. It is All Souls Day, and the spirit of Marcus Conway sits at his kitchen table and remembers. In flowing, relentless prose, Conway recalls his life in rural Ireland: as a boy and man, father, husband, citizen. His ruminations move from childhood memories of his father’s deftness with machines to his own work as a civil engineer, from transformations in the local economy to the tidal wave of global financial collapse. Conway’s thoughts go still further, outward to the vast systems of time and history that hold us all. He stares down through the “vortex of his being,” surveying all the linked circumstances that combined to bring him into this single moment, and he makes us feel, if only for an instant, all the terror and gratitude that existence inspires.
 

About Mike McCormack

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Mike McCormack has published a collection of short stories, Getting It InThe Head, and a novel, Crowe's Requiem. In 1996, McCormack was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. In 1998, Getting it in the Head was voted a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A story from the collection, "The Terms," was adapted into an award-winning short film.
 
Published September 12, 2017 by Soho Press. 225 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Solar Bones
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jul 17 2017

This transcendent novel should expand McCormack's following on this side of the Atlantic and further establish him as a heavyweight of contemporary Irish fiction along with the likes of Anne Enright and Kevin Barry.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by ROBERT CREMINS on Sep 22 2017

...the novel itself is a nimble, reliable bridge; apart from some pacing problems in the late pages, it is structurally flawless.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Martin Riker on Jan 05 2018

For all its apparent stylistic complexity, “Solar Bones” is a beautifully simple book. Death has not solved Marcus’s worldly problems, only offered a shift of scope, and this is what McCormack’s novel offers as well.

Read Full Review of Solar Bones | See more reviews from NY Times

The Economist

Excellent
on Sep 07 2017

It is broken by breath and by paragraph indentation, but never by the full stop of finality. Yet it would be quite possible to be swept into this book’s homely, poetic narrative and not notice this device at all.

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