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~Download Kindle ♫ Dark Lies the Island ☪ A New Book From The Winner Of The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Prize A Kiss That Just Won T Happen A Disco At The End Of The World A Teenage Goth On A Terror Mission And OAP Kiddie Snatchers, Scouse Real Ale Enthusiasts, And Occult Weirdness In The Backwoods Dark Lies The Island Is A Collection Of Unpredictable Stories About Love And Cruelty, Crimes, Desperation, And Hope From The Man Irvine Welsh Has Described As The Most Arresting And Original Writer To Emerge From These Islands In Years Every Page Is Shot Through With The Riotous Humour, Sympathy And Blistering Language That Mark Kevin Barry As A Pure Entertainer And A Unique Teller Of Tales Short stories have a strong place in Irish writing, and many Irish authors of literary fiction have turned their hand to the genre Kevin Barry is a very fine addition to the list Dark Lies the Island is his second volume in this format and maintains a superb standard throughout, ranging from the touching, romantic and poignant through the humourous to the threatening There are hints of an older traditional Ireland, but the overall tone is very much one of an Ireland overtaken by new values, promulgated by a range of dystopian subcultures And even where rural Ireland is portrayed, it is a sinister, off kilter rural Ireland rather than the bucolic ideal of the past Barry writes beautifully, and has the knack of being able to portray the essence of a character in a few short sentences or paragraphs It is in the nature of the short story that we have to grasp the characters quickly and this is where Dark Lies the Island is particularly successful Some of these characters and their experiences will live in my memory even if their names quickly fade I read this book quickly, but I find that I want to go back immediately to read some of these stories again, to re experience the emotions which they have stirred.There are thirteen stories in total, ranging from six pages to just over twenty Most are set in Ireland, though a minority deal with the Irish abroad a Real Ale Club from Liverpool takes a day trip to Llandudno, a young Irish writer spends a summer on the margins of Berlin Society and an IRA cell plan a bombing in Camden Dark lies the Island opens on a wistful note with Across the Rooftops the story of a kiss which may or may not happen, but in the end doesn t go quite as planned Wifey Redux relates the narrative of a blissful marriage which has gradually deteriorated and the difficulty of a father coming to terms with the sexuality of his daughter the tone is one of dark humour Other stories deal with the darker side of human relationships A Cruelty follows a day in the life of a young man with Autism Spectrum Disorder, while Ernestine and Kit are two elderly ladies with some very bad intentions Most of the characters here are inadequate in one way or another Barry writes about them with a degree of compassion while not shying away from highlighting their weaknesses and failures.Overall, I loved this collection for its range and scope There is not a bad story here and than a few great ones which will live long in the memory It deserves to be widely read Barry is a very talented writer with a very will received novel City of Bohane and two excellent collections of short stories who may well become a major figure in Irish Fiction in the years to come. Impressive piece of writing here Entertaining and moving with the occasional flash of dark humour The author excels in empathy for his characters most if whom are struggling emotionally There is the sad figure of Doctor Sot for which you can only feel compassion And the mentally disabled boy in A Cruelty, or the psychotic girl in the title story Their pains are described in painfull but precise and also poetic detail The Wifey Redux story is hilarious Such richness in this small volume, definitely an author to watch. This is the second book by Kevin Barry that I bought, but it became the first one that I ve actually read The Gaelic Nadsatesque reputation of City of Bohane is still too intimidating to win over Time will tell.Thus, I decided to give Mr Barry a go starting with a selection of some of his most recent short stories, thanks to a fruitful and affordable harvest along the shelves of the Hay Cinema Bookshop.Credits first.There are 13 short stories in Dark Lies the Island and five out of the first six are no short than excellent.I know some of you don t like those reviewers comparing one novelist to others or making cocktail percentages out of literary influences, but I will annoy you nonetheless my first impact with Kevin Barry brought to my mind Raymond Carver and less surprisingly Roddy Doyle Not that I m the greatest fan of Raymond and Roddy, but to my mind Mr Barry managed to get the best features of both Carver s straight prose finding beauty in a dull everyday s life and Doyle s sharp sense of humour and Irish cosmopolitan savoir faire As a bonus, Kevin Barry showed me that he knows how to draw with a wide palette.Whereas the opening of Across the Rooftops is poignant and melancholy in its adolescent stillness, the vibrant Wifey Redux is a comic gem which the author quite obviously enjoyed writing From what I read here and there, it s the the third short story Fjord of Killary the one that got praise around perhaps due to having been published on The New Yorker Well, I liked this one enough and appreciated its self deprecating irony and cliffhanging mood, but my favourite in the lot lies elsewhere.After the disappointing interlude of A Cruelty which left me lukewarm and forced me to briefly reconsider my initial awe for Mr Barry, things got bettter again with A Beer Trip to Llandudno the first short story in the collection set out of Ireland and reminiscent to me of certain works by supposedly minor British authors Magnus Mills John O Farrell.But it s with Ernestine and Kit the sixth installment of the book that I ve finally set my mind up and blessed the 3 quids I spent for the my second hand copy of Dark Lies the Island What Kevin Barry accomplished with the 12 pages of this short story is a truly amazing miniature of Irish on the road life on a serene Sunday afternoon And the two affable and gossipy ladies of a certain age who take charge of the plot will twist it in unpredictable ways.And here pretty much ends my praise.For the remaining seven stories don t shine Open up your umbrella, please.Sure, Mr Barry read his Irvine Welsh and tried to pay his homage to him see The Girls and The Dogs , but the outcome is disappointing if not clumsy The vaguely ambitious The Mainland Campaign fails in delivering a convincing portrait of a self made romantic teenage bomber and shows to some extent how Barry s knowledge of what music a post Goth teenager might listen to is somewhat limited Sisters of Mercy Einsturzende Neubauten Aw, come on I don t buy this.Both White Hitachi and Wistful England left me bored and quite puzzled on what actually Barry wanted to express apart from boredom and numbness The penultimate short story Dark Lies the Island didn t really justify its status as the title track of the whole collection To be honest, it s not a bad story but then again it left me umoved, untouched and convinced me that Mr Barry had already shot all of his best bullets in the first round.The oddly titled finale of Berlin Arkonaplatz My Lesbian Summer looks like a rielaboration of a hypothetical 20 something Barry s own diary in Berlin even though it doesn t look like he ever lived there than like an actual short story I m weak and have this tendency to give unconditional love to everything set in Berlin, but Barry s effort is out of focus and the fictional character of post war refugee, post raped, post squatter, post feminist, post lesbian, semi artistic photographer Silvija sounded too unnatural to me.All things considered, I ve no doubt that Kevin Barry is talented, brilliant and even at times fucken entertainin as he would put it in one of his short stories , but this island lying in the dark should have been interesting to map had it had a good 80 milehm pages less. Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry is a book of short stories.I really did not enjoy this book and found the stories lacking in character development and just did hold my interest I found myself going from one story to the next without really enjoying what I was reading.I am not a fan of short stories as I always feel the story ends before it begins but having said that, I am not used to reading short stories and I think you have to learn to think and differently in a short story and fill in the gaps as you are not going to get the plot or character development of a Novel.Not my cup of tea but am sure fans of short stories will enjoy it. great review in the Guardian that compares him to VS Pritchett one of my favourite writers I met him once.hurray just in at the library I ve now got three great story collections to read I m in heaven.another superb collection Will do a review, but so much going on I m not sure when got another three or four to catch up on.Big bold writing, involving and colourful characters eg the slightly boorish but love able blokes on a beer trip, the drunken doctor who takes up community outreach work with an unseen until now vigour when he sees a gorgeous traveller woman in town he feels he must now visit their site in the woods to hand out leaflets, even the seemingly gentle two old biddies who drive around in their battered car to stately homes on Sundays are not what they seem , but also subtleties and nuances within them Often funny, but again not always the title story for example is a sombre and rather beautiful account of a teenage suicide risk, a rich kid alone in her daddy s holiday house in Clew Bay, County Mayo I did feel the ones set outside Ireland were not as successful apart from the Anglo Welsh Beer Trip to Llandudno which was ace , two in London and one in Berlin.here s an opening from one story that gives you a good flavour of his stuff This is the story of a happy marriage but before you throw up and turn the page let me say that it will end with my face pressed hard into the cold metal of the Volvo s bonnet, my hands cuffed behind my back, and my rights droned into my ear this will occur in the car park of a big box retail unit on the Naas Road in Dublin. Wifey Redux plus I might like him cuz he is the spitting image of a friend of mine and writer who died in 2005, Stuart Crees Here s his picture and here s Kevin Barry can you spot any difference Who said the short story was dead Kevin Barry breathes life into the flagging format with this energetic and thrilling collection The much celebrated author has a wonderful ear for Irish dialogue and a mischievous sense of humour permeates throughout The New Yorker published Fjord of Killary tends to attract most of the plaudits but for me Ernestine and Kit is the stand out This unsettling tale of two middle aged women on a leisurely drive through the Sligo countryside quickly takes a sinister turn and leaves a bitter, unforgettable taste. Kevin Barry is a sneak His stories start in one space or mode and end up in another, often unpredictable, place altogether Drop dead hilarity gives way to deep pathos, and real insight His characters often long to get back to a place or time they can not return to, whether it be through their own actions and devices, or simply because time moves always forward His dialogue sings, and when his characters speak of lost love and the process of growing older it is with intelligence and grace A unique and vivacious voice. DISCLAIMER I DIDN T READ ALL THE STORIES IN THIS BOOKI read fjord of Killary and just thought it was super pointless lol so begins the school readings 3,25 5