Dark Lies the Island: Stories [NOOK Book]

Overview


An award-winning collection from the author of City of Bohane, which was hailed by Pete Hamill as “full of marvels” (The New York Times Book Review)

* Short-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award * Winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award * One of last year's most critically acclaimed books in the UK * A Guernica Best Book of the Year * A Library Journal "Best Indie Fiction of ...

See more details below
Dark Lies the Island: Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview


An award-winning collection from the author of City of Bohane, which was hailed by Pete Hamill as “full of marvels” (The New York Times Book Review)

* Short-listed for the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award * Winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award * One of last year's most critically acclaimed books in the UK * A Guernica Best Book of the Year * A Library Journal "Best Indie Fiction of 2013" *

Dark Lies the Island is a wickedly funny and hugely original collection of stories about misspent love and crimes gone horribly wrong. In the Sunday Times Short Story Award–winning “Beer Trip to Llandudno,” a pack of middle-aged ale fanatics seeking the perfect pint find more than they bargained for. A pair of sinister old ladies prowl the countryside for a child to make their own. And a poet looking for inner calm buys an ancient inn on the west coast of Ireland but finds instead rancorous locals and catastrophic floodwaters.
     Kevin Barry’s dazzling language, razor-sharp ear for the vernacular, and keen eye for the tragedies and comedies of daily life invest these tales with a startling vitality. Dark Lies the Island was short-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and as one of the most acclaimed collections in Europe in many years, it heralds the arrival of a new master of the short story.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Rachel Nolan
Barry's flamboyant first novel, City of Bohane, chronicles a feud between nattily dressed fast-talking ganglords and gang-ladies in the dystopian near future. This collection is subtler, more poetic and more disturbing. It reveals the menace of everyday life…Generally, by the end of a story, Barry has me in full sympathy with someone I might edge away from on the train. His regard for characters big and small and capacity to be funny without playing them for cheap laughs recalls George Saunders.
Publishers Weekly
There are a lot of pleasures to be had in Barry’s short story collection. First, there’s his way with language—a bent form of Irish that makes the most mundane exchange, like those of the mileage-obsessed locals at the hotel bar in “Fjord of Killary,” somehow hilarious. Then there’s the pleasure of safely spending time in the company of people you might well cross the street to avoid, like the Mullaney brothers in “White Hitatchi,” who are well-known to the local constabulary, or the law-abiding but big, sweaty, and, as their beer-tasting excursion extends, presumably loud, friends of “Beer Trip to Llandudno.” Whether they did well in the high-flying Celtic Tiger years, or, more likely, missed out entirely, whether in Ireland or part of the vast Irish diaspora, Barry’s characters tend to be aware of both the exact alcohol content of their chosen beverages and the likelihood that the road they’re on isn’t leading anywhere good. Though “Dark Lies the Island”—one of the few stories told from a female point of view—isn’t the collection’s strongest, it does offer the perfect title overall: the island and its inhabitants aren’t doing well, and Barry is a master at showing both the darkness and the piercing moments of humor and self-knowledge that now and then penetrate it. (Sept. 24)
From the Publisher
Praise for Dark Lies the Island:

“[Kevin Barry] isn’t sparing with his powers. Even his throwaway lines are keepers. . . . What makes this book such a satisfying read is that his memorable sentence-writing is in the service of well-constructed, moving stories.” —The New York Times

"This collection is subtler, more poetic and more disturbing [than City of Bohane]. It reveals the menace of everyday life. . . . By the end of a story, Barry has me in full sympathy with someone I might edge away from on the train. His regard for characters big and small and capacity to be funny without playing them for cheap laughs recalls George Saunders." ––The New York Times Book Review

"Stealthy and shimmering. . . . Darkness abounds in these 13 stories, though it takes its different forms: vileness, foreboding, ignorance, isolation, self-delusion, despair. . . . Often playful, comic, even gently so." ––The Boston Globe

"If these tales are built around marginalized figures, there's nothing uniform about Barry's storytelling voice. He does humor. He does high drama. He even dabbles in horror (of a kind). And he can handle just about any other narrative form you might think of. . . . If City of Bohane earned Barry a modicum of global literary stardom . . . this collection leaves no doubt that he's earned all that's come his way. Deeply humane and immensely funny, Dark Lies the Island is another testament to his many talents." ––Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Barry's writing is a marvel: it is immoderate, probing, alive and lyrical, a cross between Roddy Doyle and Patrick McCabe. He plumbs his characters' lives and finds the nuances of everyday pathos and humor. . . . Dark Lies the Island is an exceptional collection by one of the most talented Irish writers of his generation." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"At the risk of indulging in cultural stereotypes, Barry is Irish: when he writes a story, he tells a story, and he's not afraid of sentimental ending, if one presents itself. Along the way, he takes . . . contagious pleasure in his flawed, incorrigible people." ––Lorin Stein, The Paris Review

"[Dark Lies the Island] shares the virtues that made Bohane such an astonishment—prose that rollicks and judders and constantly delights; a keen ear for the spoken language of Barry's native western Ireland; and above all . . . a way of lassoing moments of mystery that have the power to transform the lives of Barry's characters, a motley Irish medley of disturbed young women, devious old spinsters, blocked poets, thugs, boozers, exiles, and tortured civil servants. There is rich music, high humor, and deep blackness on every page. . . . You must read this impossibly gifted, unspeakably lovely Irish writer." —The Millions

"The collection is marked by Barry's playful style, whose central tension emerges through its contrast with the atmosphere of his storie's settings. He shows a perceptible love for the conventions of Irish literature without being bound by them, exhibiting a capacity for rhythmic and lyrical prose like Colm Toibin . . . along with equal aptitude for Flann O'Brien's deadpan absurdity. . . . The texture of Irish lives portrayed in this collection is familiar and truthful, even when the characters are larger and stranger than life." —The Barnes & Noble Review

"A boisterous and beautiful collection of stories. Barry is a prose wizard whose stories pulse on the page with all the humor and viciousness of life itself." —Sam Lipsyte

"[Kevin Barry] has a singular voice and imagination. . . . Satire is something that Barry excels at as he zeroes in on the hilarity and the dangers—especially the dangers—of small-town Irish ennui and insularity. . . . Dark Lies the Island achieves what any good story collection strives to, displaying Barry's vast range of talent and writerly moods." —Irish America Magazine

"Barry offers a second story collection that offers all the best qualities of his IMPAC award-winning debut novel, City of Bohane—the dark humor, apt characterization, and sharply condensed emotion, so well contained by the the beautiful sentences." ––Library Journal, starred review

"The writing is spectacular, alternately stately and hurried, occasionally clipped but never languid, steeped in the vernacular but never lacking precision, and very often pulsing with the rhythm of iambic pentameter. Smashing, compulsively readable stuff: Barry will be a household name, and soon." ––Booklist, starred review

"There are a lot of pleasures to be had. . . . There's his way with language––a bent form of Irish that makes the most mundane language, like those of the mileage-obsessed locals at the hotel bar in 'Fjord of Killary,' somehow hilarious. Then there's the pleasure of safely spending time in the company of people you might well cross the street to avoid. . . . The island and its inhabitants aren't doing well, and Barry is a master at showing both the darkness and the piercing moments of humor and self-knowledge that now and then penetrate it." ––Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Irish lyricism shines throughout the collection. . . . Barry writes stories that are character-driven, archetypical yet magnetic, pushing toward realism's edge where genre becomes irrelevant." ––Kirkus Reviews

"I was greatly taken with Kevin Barry's Dark Lies the Island, a collection of hilarious and, often, hair-raising short stories." ––Paul Muldoon, TLS Books of the Year

"[To] darkness, Barry brings poetry, nuance, and strange moments of grace. If Roddy Doyle and Nick Cave could procreate, the result would be something like Kevin Barry." ––Cedar Rapids Gazette

"Unignorable. . . . A rhythmic Hiberno-English onslaught which forces black humour into the bleakest of corners." ––The Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Kevin Barry's best short stories are like a spade to the face. . . . There is a vividness to his writing that plants you immediately at its heart." ––The Guardian (London)

"Barry's voice isn't brooding or sententious; it's wonderfully, restlessly alive. . . . Barry beautifully captures the melancholy of loneliness and necessity of comradeship." ––The Times (London)

"Outstanding. . . . [These] stories triumph because they function on many levels––they are funny, sad, troubling, illuminating, often in equal measure." ––Financial Times (London)

"[Kevin Barry's] prose is almost literally indescribable. . . . It's not hard to see a devoted following accrue around this singular talent." ––Irish Independent

"From love, loss, regret and desire, [Kevin Barry] combines the real, the bizarre, and the mundane. His fluid style escorts the reader through a world that is funny, tragic, relentless, endearing. . . . A startlingly unique voice." ––The Observer (London)

"A pacy collection of thirteen modern tales about sozzled Irish men, neatly captured middle-class couples, sinisterly plotting old women and damaged lesbian hipsters. It's sharply observed, frequently rude, often very funny." ––The Independent on Sunday (London)

 

Library Journal
★ 09/15/2013
Barry offers a second story collection that offers all the best qualities of his IMPAC award-winning debut novel, City of Bohane—the dark humor, apt characterization, and sharply condensed emotion, so well contained by the beautiful sentences. Some of the stories artfully offer whole communities. In "Fjord of Killary," for instance, a narrator full of romantic idealism and the desire to remake himself has bought an old hotel in the wet west of Ireland and now finds that he despises the very rag with which he mops the bar. He senses that he's despised in turn by the crusty, exasperating locals, who think he acts superior. But during a particularly bad storm, as the water rises dangerously, the regulars in the bar explode into a round of dancing, and the whole story captures the darkness and exuberance of the Irish spirit. Other stories are fine portraits, as in "Across the Rooftops," which tenderly depicts a shy young man attempting a first kiss. VERDICT Highly recommended for lovers of short stories, Irish literature, and good reading generally.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
In his latest, Irish author Barry (City of Bohane, 2011, etc.) offers 10 pieces of literary fiction. A postmodern lens reflects youthful ineptness in "Across the Rooftops." In "Wifey Redux," perhaps the collection's best story, Saoirse, "blonde and wispily slight with a delicate, bone-china complexion," marries, births Ellie and turns to Pinot Grigio, while her dutiful husband becomes consumed by their daughter's beauty and her sex-obsessed suitors. A blocked poet turned innkeeper herds horny Belarus staff and droning, alcoholic locals in "Fjord of Killary" until, epiphany-flooded, "I felt a new, quiet ecstasy take hold. The gloom of youth had at last lifted." In "A Cruelty," a boy/man/child, autistic perhaps, time-obsessed, fixated on lunch-pack Chocolate Goldgrains, is accosted by a bully, perhaps a rapist, certainly "hyena," his safely circumscribed world forever fractured. Later, a sad group of ale fanciers makes a humorous and melancholy "Beer Trip to Llandudno." Irish lyricism shines throughout the collection. "Ernestine and Kit" opens so--"the world was fat on the blood of summer"--but relates a tale as black as a witch's heart. A kitchen steward, "black mass of backcombed hair and a graveyard pallor," fumbles into a double-dealing bombing plot in "The Mainland Campaign." A broken lover laments in "Wistful England," and Jameson whiskey–loving "Doctor Sot" finds drunken perceptions reflected by psychotic Mag, a traveler. An on-the-run drug dealer confronts the devil, twisted overseer of two sisters, eight wild children and chained feral dogs in "The Girls and the Dogs." A rattletrap "White Hitachi" van is home to Patrick, incompetent thief, intent upon saving his brother from "Castlerea prison, or the secure ward at the madhouse (many a Mullaney had bothered the same walls)." The title story is penultimate, a young artist, a cutter, from a fractured family seeks west Ireland solace. "Berlin Arkonaplatz--My Lesbian Summer" concludes the collection, Irish writer Patrick entrapped and enlightened by bohemian Silvija, "beautiful, foul-mouthed and inviolate." Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, Barry writes stories that are character-driven, archetypical yet magnetic, pushing toward realism's edge where genre becomes irrelevant.
The Barnes & Noble Review

There's a tendency in Irish letters to use the charismatic rhythm of Irish English as a dramatic figure in and of itself. Authors from J. M. Synge to Roddy Doyle have immersed readers in Hibernian slang, a style that would eventually be satirized by humorists like Paul Howard. In this collection of short stories, Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry — who won acclaim for his Beckettian gangster novel City of Bohane — displays a lighter touch in his approach to colloquial usage, reflecting an island that has undergone significant changes in the last two decades. These stories reveal an outward-looking country, a land of Japanese cars and pilgrimages to Berlin, more a doorway to the European common market than a windswept hinterland. The protagonist of the petty crime caper "White Hitachi" is called upon to "offload three hundred and fifty-nine DVDs," rather than run guns or rob banks. Though the locales and characters are mostly Irish, the pop culture references and technologies are global— as are the malaises of freakish weather and economic inequality.

Even accents converge in Barry's world, a fact acidly remarked upon by the narrator of the uproarious "Wifey Redux,? describing the voice of his daughter's boyfriend: "One of those horrible, mid- Atlantic twangs — these kids don't even sound fucking Irish anymore." Barry is happy to show more sides of Ireland than just the raw, hard-edged picture that has been sketched before by authors like Doyle and Patrick McCabe. "Across the Rooftops," the opening story of the collection, recounts a pair of hip Cork city residents — brought together by a shared fondness for Detroit techno — trying and failing to engineer a tryst with one another. Tales like "Wifey Redux" and the eponymous "Dark Lies the Island? paint a picture of a wealthy country, obsessed with material comfort, Internet culture and sex. Crime stories, like the aforementioned "White Hitachi" and "The Girls and the Dogs" are struck through with references to crystal meth and New Age experimentation. The rural pub scenes in "Fjords of Killary" were particularly resonant for me; Barry describes a drunken local couple pawing each other while "hoarsely yodeling an Alicia Keys love ballad," a scene identical to one into which I once stumbled while trying to buy whiskey for a younger friend in a remote town called Cloghane. For better or worse, this reminds me more of the countryside where I spent my teens than most other depictions I've read.

The collection is marked by Barry's playful style, whose central tension emerges through its contrast with the atmosphere of his stories' settings. He shows a perceptible love for the conventions of Irish literature without being bound by them, exhibiting a capacity for rhythmic and lyrical prose like Colm Tóibín (a bright sky is "a pure white screech of sun" in "A Cruelty"), along with equal aptitude for Flann O'Brien's deadpan absurdity, describing crows who "stalked about importantly — like fascist birds" in the amiable yet chilling "Ernestine and Kit." The texture of Irish lives portrayed in this collection is familiar and truthful, even when the characters are larger and stranger than life.

Reviewer: Charles Reinhardt

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555970826
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 361,718
  • File size: 710 KB

Meet the Author


Kevin Barry is the author of City of Bohane and two story collections. He has won the European Union Prize for Literature and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, and was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award. He lives in County Sligo, Ireland.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)