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At Swim, Two Boys
     

At Swim, Two Boys

4.2 51
by Jamie O'Neill
 

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Praised as “a work of wild, vaulting ambition and achievement” by Entertainment Weekly, Jamie O’Neill’s first novel invites comparison to such literary greats as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Charles Dickens.

Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916—Ireland’s brave but fractured revolt against British

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At Swim, Two Boys 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a genre mired by middle-aged men vainly trying to pass off their fantasies of an idealized adolescance as 'literature,' it is indeed astounding to discover a work of true art. Though not perfect and at times difficult, O'Neill's novel surpasses all expectations and delivers a heartbreaking story of love, war, political and personal identity, tragedy and redemption. The last chapter-- and indeeed the last two pages-- are without a doubt one of the best finales in literature and well worth the effort of reaching. Heads above any of its contemporaries, the novel ranks among the finest works of Modernism (and yes, I am refering to 'Ulysses' as well as Woolf's 'The Waves' or Elliot's 'The Waste Land'). It does, at times, suffer from the stereotypical hyper-masculinity that is prevalent in gay fiction (witness Doyler's near rape of the shop boy which is instigated by Doyler's rage towards the boy for being 'soft')as well as the questionable view of women in the novel; but these concerns pale in the sheer scope of the work and its gorgeous sea of language. Bravo, Mr. O'Neill! You have done your country (both Ireland and the gay community) proud! You have given us a true work of art bearing both truth and beauty.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to chip away at this book, it took 3 tries-the language in my mouth is chunk...chunk... chunk and in my head clink..clunk...clunk. 1st try,2nd try- o bother, so I put it down. To say nothing of the size! 3rd try I'm going to do this dammit! and something happened...Jim meets Doyler and it just tears off with you in tow ready for a swim floundering alittle leading you by your hand to the 'beckoning sparkling reckless' sea. You'll stay up all hours,get mad ,laugh, cry (I did and I'm really macho) and mostly you'll get attached and not want any of it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a tough read. I gave up after 200 pages. Really should had given up after the first chapter. It doesn't get easier. Probably a good story, but getting to pass the indulgent writing style takes more than it is worth. ps
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
I am going to finish the book because I started it, a personal resolution. The story is beautiful, the writing is beyond me. I love the Irish angle, but the slang is beyond my American English, and the Irish references unknown to me. I think that this book could have been so much better had it been written to tell a story instead of describing a story. Let the story be humorous on its own, not with quips. Let the story be sad on its own, not with unknown comparison.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously why? Gay people are awesome. Gay books are writen for a reason.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most brilliant books I've ever read. As mentioned below, it's the kind of book that changes your life and dominates your thoughts for ages after you've finished. The homosexual relationship between Jim and Doyler is frank and realistic, without any glossing over, and yet still one of the most beautiful I have ever encountered.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful novel. Don't be put off by trying to get the characters straight in the beginning and submerging yourself in the Irish dialect...it is worth the effort. Wonderful emotional payoff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard language, but well worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading so much fluff and trite LGBT novels, this one offered a frank and realistic depiction of both the subject and the time period.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnthonyNY More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Amazing story with deep characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Homosxuality is a sin. God has decreed it that it is an abomination in His sight. Since God is everywhere, it's right there in His sight. He doesn't like that. He mentioned that those who perform in this sin would die; it might not be an automatic death but they can still die. There is a chance though, through repentance you still have a second chance to change your ways and follow God. God says to hate the sin, not the sinner. I don't hate y'all I just don't like the fact that their are those out there who gladly perform in this conduct. I'm not saying that I'm perfect; I know that I am not perfect because I struggle with viewing pornographic images and that is a sin as well. I will pray for you, cause I care about the outcome of your souls.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written. It left me heartbroken and hopeful all at the same time. As for the complaints about the dialect, I had no prior knowledge of the Irish dialect used, and I had no trouble at all reading this. This book starts off a bit slow, but you'll be rewarded for your troubles; this was an emotional, heart-wrenching tale.
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