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Pete HamillCity of Bohane, the extraordinary first novel by the Irish writer Kevin Barry, is full of marvels…marvels of language, invention, surprise. Savage brutality is here, but so is laughter. And humanity. And the abiding ache of tragedy…In prose that is both dense and flowing, Barry takes us on a roaring journey, among human beings who are trapped in life its own damned self. Nostalgia grips many of them, even when they slash angrily at sentimentality. None of it is real, yet all of it feels true. This powerful, exuberant fiction is as true as the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez, the Yoknapatawpha County of William Faulkner and, in a different way, even the Broadway of Damon Runyon. Those places were not real. The stories remain true.
—The New York Times Book Review