!Download ♐ Young Skins ♖ Making A Remarkable Entrance Onto The Irish And UK Literary Scene With Rave Reviews In The Sunday Times And The Guardian, Colin Barrett S Young Skins Is A Stunning Introduction To A Singular Voice In Contemporary FictionEnter The Small, Rural Town Of Glanbeigh, A Place Whose Fate Took A Downturn With The Celtic Tiger, A Desolate Spot Where Buffoonery And Tension Simmer And Erupt, And Booze Sodden Boredom Fills The Corners Of Every Pub And Nightclub Here, And In The Towns Beyond, The Young Live Hard And Wear The Scars Amongst Them, There S Jilted Jimmy, Whose Best Friend Tug Is The Terror Of The Town And Jimmy S Sole Company In His Search For The Missing Clancy Kid Bat, A Lovesick Soul With A Face Like A Bowl Of Mashed Up Spuds Even Before Nubbin Tansey S Boot Kicked It In And Arm, A Young And Desperate Criminal Whose Destiny Is Shaped When He And His Partner, Dympna, Fail To Carry Out A Job In Each Story, A Local Voice Delineates The Grittiness Of Irish Society Unforgettable Characters Whose Psychological Complexities And Unspoken Yearnings Are Rendered Through Silence, Humor, And ViolenceWith Power And Originality Akin To Wells Tower S Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned And Claire Vaye Watkins Battleborn These Six Short Stories And One Explosive Novella Occupy The Ghostly, Melancholic Spaces Between Boyhood And Old Age Told In Barrett S Vibrant, Distinctive Prose, Young Skins Is An Accomplished And Irreverent Debut From A Brilliant New Writer
In the vein of authors like Donal Ryan and Lisa McInerney, Colin Barrett has a gift for conjuring quiet scenes from small town Irish life that bristle with a kind of dormant tension Young Skins is a collection of seven short stories that all take place in the same town, and often the same pub, with a few overlapping characters, but which mostly stand on their own Each story focuses on a male protagonist, usually young, all in some way navigating working class life, post Ireland s financial collapse It s very rare that I give a short story collection 5 stars it s to be expected that in a collection like this, certain stories are going to shine and certain others are going to fade into the background Though I loved Barrett s prose throughout, this collection really wasn t an exception to the rule there are stories I loved and stories I found to be rather forgettable though thankfully none I outright disliked.The Clancy Kid was a strong opening, introducing us to the gritty, bleak backdrop of young love turned to heartbreak that characterizes so many of these stories, as well as the kind of violence that permeates male youth culture Bait is a tricky one I d been loving it, up until the very end where it takes an incongruously supernatural turn that I still haven t fully made sense of If you ve read this story, please tell me your thoughts on the ending The Moon didn t leave much of an impression on me, though this is where Barrett states a lot of the collection s thematic conceits rather plainly, which makes it a solid addition a young, flighty woman says to our protagonist at one pointGalway s not that far , but it might as well be the moon for people like youAnd I thought Stand Your Skin was maybe too thematically similar to The Moon, though Stand Your Skin is the one I preferred.Calm With Horses, the collection s magnum opus, is of a novella than a short story, nearing 100 pages In my opinion this story stands head and shoulders above the rest, and it s not just because of its length I think this is where Barrett is able to really stretch his legs and show us what he s capable of Various characters and subplots weave in an out of this one and all dovetail in a satisfying, heart rending conclusion I really hope Barrett has a novel in the works.Diamonds I think is solidly the weakest story that doesn t offer much that we can t already find elsewhere And Kindly Forget My Existence is a fitting ending, where Barrett eschews his young protagonists in favor of two middle aged men who sit down at a pub and discuss their own youth So, as with most short story collections, a mixed bag, but it s worth the price of admission for the stunningly tragic Calm With Horses alone, and the rest of the stories mostly hold their own as well Dismal and hopeless as this collection is on the whole, there s an assured beauty to Barrett s prose that I found very striking, especially for a debut, and I can t wait to see what he does next. This is another book I ve wanted to read for ages the time finally arrived Young Skins is a collection of short stories 6 stories and 1 novella a debut which won several impressive book awards including The Frank O Conner International Short Story Award and The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature Colin Barrett s stories, although each very different, have a running theme throughout failure is hiding in the shadows of these men and women who live in the small town of Glanbeigh a fictional town in Ireland their discomforts, resentments, disillusionment, longings, loss, and defeats between the youth and adults The town Glanbeigh itself is a very bleak place it s not a town where people s lives are thriving and inspiring.unless of course drinking cocktails, with red syrup and crushed ice concoctions are the highlight of your day Dreary is as dreary is.Crazy wonderful deadpan characters with names that fit their basic dispositions BAT, TUG, NUBBIN TANSEY, ARM, DYMPNA, MINION, etc These characters are bored do little drink a lot of beer don t expect much hope for their future and what plays on our thoughts is just how real this image is of life for many twenty somethings today in pockets all over the world Profanity, violence, humor in the context of darkness.gorgeous lyrical elegant prose A very talented young author Cheers for the Irish Colin Barrett has a stunning way with words Some of these sentences are unbearably beautiful As such I can absolutely see why this collection comes this highly praised But, for me personally, the stories were just too bleak in the end and in their bleakness too similar to each other.The stories focus young men and not so young men who for one reason or the other are unhappy in their lives There is a sense of hopelessness that infuses these stories, a sense of roads not taken and lives not lived All stories are impeccably crafted but maybe too similar in tone Short fiction is often a format that plays with hopelessness and sadness, but even so, this one was too sad for me.Barrett infuses his stories with a great sense of place in a way that I really appreciated His depiction of small town Irish life rings true as true as it can ring for me who has never lived there.My favourite story was the very last story of the collection Kindly Forget My Existence was just the perfect way to end this collection Here two former bandmates meet again at a pub in their hometown, trying to drink their cowardice away and attend the funeral of their ex girlfriend and ex wife respectively The whole story is just pitch perfect and nearly had me up my rating If you only read one story of this collection, make sure it is this one.You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog. I d rate this 4.5 stars.Gritty, sometimes bleak, but full of well developed characters and emotions, the stories in Colin Barrett s collection Young Skins are tremendously compelling and memorable.Set in the small Irish town of Glanbeigh, Barrett s stories evoke the weariness one feels when they have spent most of their life in one place, with the same people, following the same path they always have Sometimes his characters are down on their luck, sometimes their facing a major crossroads, and sometimes they re just hoping for a little out of life And even when they aren t the most upstanding people to put it mildly, in some cases , Barrett s respect for his characters makes you care about them anyway.I really enjoyed all seven stories in this collection Some of my favorites included Stand Your Skin, about a man whose face was damaged by someone else s act of recklessness, and how he tends to live his life on the margins The Moon, about a senior bouncer at a bar, whose infatuation with his boss college aged daughter makes him ponder a different life than he has known Calm with Horses, which followed Arm, the enforcer for a neighborhood drug dealer, whose life is far complex and complicated than you d expect The Clancy Kid, about a lovelorn young man and his larger than life best friend, who is obsessed with the kidnapping of a young boy from their neighborhood and Kindly Forget My Existence, in which two old friends and romantic rivals are reunited when both try to avoid a solemn occasion.While Barrett s writing style reminded me a bit of Roddy Doyle s, he has a voice all his own I had read about this collection a number of times over the last several months, and it always had been on my to be read list, but I m so glad I finally picked it up These stories are rich with character, plot, and introspection, and they definitely leave you marveling Colin Barrett may be a relative newcomer to the world of fiction, but I don t anticipate he ll be a flash in the pan given his talent.See all of my reviews at 3.5 Quite a few good stories by this up and coming Irish writer Stuck in a Irish town with boarded up windows for store fronts and little or no job opportunity besides hanging, playing pool etch these young men and women spend endless days trying to outwit boredom and the nullifying effects of sameness Some hang on to long to past relationships and dreams, others kind of step in place, just going through motions, preserving, denying their bleak outlook What saves these scenarios are some cunning witticisms, dark humor and despite the hopelessness, a sense of perseverance and a touch of hope. A fabulous collection of stories just like with Welcome Thieves , there s a grittiness and rawness to the stories that pulls you ineven if you didn t like the people or what they did.Most of the stories were easy to get lost in, even the ones I didn t like as much in their own way.One story in particular Calm with Horseswas good but it felt like a couple endings happened before the actual one happened A couple moments in that one seemed particularly tragic to me, in different ways despite everything, had me wanting to know ,what would happen next.Would recommend, one of those books people should know about The Clancy Kid 4 starsIt is Sunday The weekend, that three day festival of attrition, is done Sunday is the day of purgation and redress of tenderised brain cases and seesawing stomachs and hollow pledges to never, ever get that twisted again A day you are happy to see slip by before it ever really gets going Bait 3.5 stars And then laughter, and I could not tell who had spoken and who was laughing, and if it wasn t for the boot flat against my Adam s apple I would have begged go ahead girls,I would have begged you to do your worst The Moon 4 stars From their elevated niche, the three watched as the last of the night s crowd slowly dispersed Girls huddled together rubbing their bare, goosefleshed arms Boys stood alone with their chests out, fists wadded into pockets, glowering at the dark with thwarted, bloodshot eyes.Other boys and girls leant into one another, tangling arms, laughing conspicuously Stand Your Skin 4 starsThe Honda is no power racer, but watching the dimpled macadam hurtle away beneath the monocular glare of his headlight, Bat feels he is moving too fast to exist as he dips into and leans out of the crooks and curves of the road, he becomes the crooks and curves A bristling silence hangs over the deep adjacent acres the pastures, woodlands and hills sprawled out all around him Calm with Horses 3.5 starsDympna Devers was twenty five, a year older than Arm Dympna sold marijuana, fat green ziplocked bags of the stuff, all over town The town was small, and Dympna held a monopoly on such business Fannigan was the eldest of the crew of five dealers currently in Dympna s employ Fannigan sold out of the industrial estate, where he worked evenings as a production line stiff in the Allgen medical prosthetics plant They were beyond the farmsteads now, into reefs of bogland infested with gorse bushes Bony, hard thorned and truculently thriving, the gorse bushes yellow blossoms were vivid against the grained black sheen of the sump waters, the seamed bog fields The sky was clearing itself of clouds The day was on its afternoon wane, already Diamonds 4 starsI left the city with my connections scorched and my prospects blown, looking only for somewhere to batten down for the winter to come I left on a bright morning in August, dozing fitfully as the train drifted through the purgatorial horizontals of the midlands, heading west Kindly forget my existence 4 starsEli s rinsed brogues squeaked on the Tavern s floorboards He transferred his overcoat from one arm to the other Limply piled and dripping, it resembled the lustreless corpse of a drowned animal Eli heaped the coat on the stool adjacent to Doran s, but remained standing himself My God, these stories are dispiriting Maybe they hit a little bit too close to home for me Like these characters I come from a small village in the west of Ireland so I recognise some of the sense of hopelessness, disillusionment and despair described in these pages That s also my one major criticism Barrett focuses exclusively on the no hopers, the deadbeats people who live their whole blinkered life in the same place But rural Ireland is not entirely the relentlessly bleak picture he paints Believe me there is beauty and wonder to be found there too.The writing itself is stunning From the first few assured paragraphs, you know you re in the hands of a master Barrett is extremely adept at evoking the unsettling atmosphere of a small town Saturday night, when the hard working locals who live for the weekend remove their shackles and all hell is known to break loose.The novella Calm With Horses is an unforgettable standout It describes the exploits of Arm, an ex boxer who provides the muscle for a local drug dealer The tone is incredibly ominous from the start and the tension ratchets so sweetly to a heart stopping denouement I had to the book down for a while to catch my breath.But I read to escape, and this collection sucks me back into the gloomy, discouraging aspect of my upbringing Hence the four stars This is a confident, striking debut I d like to see if Barrett can take a look outside this Darkness On The Edge Of Town I ll be keeping a close eye on what he does next. An extraordinary debut of contemporary short stories by Irish author, Colin Barrett, winner of the Frank O Connor Irish Short Stories and the Rooney Prize Set in Glanbeigh, Ireland, his characters show the downtrodden side of Irish society Barrett s prose is sharp, vibrant, and moody Crass at times, but brilliant.What a very fine voice to enter the contemporary Irish literary world.Highly recommend.5 out of 5 stars Barrett presents six short stories and one novella about the residents of a small rural town in Ireland Here are sad, lonely and disappointed people whose lives didn t turn out quite like they d hoped There s not much to do but hang at the pub, looking for adventure, love or at least a temporary thrill.The stories are dark and happy endings rarer that a sunny day, yet an underlying comic tone keeps the mood from becoming too bleak.This is an excellent debut by a writer with a bright future.