Long Time, No See

Long Time, No See

4.5 2
by Dermot Healy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The funny, moving, long-awaited masterwork from "Ireland’s finest living novelist" (Roddy Doyle)

Celebrated Irish author Dermot Healy’s first novel in more than ten years is a rich, beguiling, compassionate, and wonderfully funny story about community, family, love, and bonds across generations.

Set in an isolated coastal town in northwest

…  See more details below

Overview

The funny, moving, long-awaited masterwork from "Ireland’s finest living novelist" (Roddy Doyle)

Celebrated Irish author Dermot Healy’s first novel in more than ten years is a rich, beguiling, compassionate, and wonderfully funny story about community, family, love, and bonds across generations.

Set in an isolated coastal town in northwest Ireland, Long Time, No See centers around an unforgettable cast of innocents and wounded, broken misfits. The story is narrated by a young man known as Mister Psyche who takes up with and is then drawn into a series of bemusing and unsettling misadventures with two men some fifty years his senior—his grand uncle Joejoe and Joejoe’s neighbor The Blackbird—wonderful, eccentric characters full of ancient jealousies and grudges and holding some very dark secrets.

Written with great lyrical power and a vivid sense of place and published to rapturous reviews in England and Ireland, Long Time, No See is a sad-comic tapestry of life and death that celebrates the incredibly rich lives of ordinary people.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Healy (A Goat’s Song) writes early on in his latest novel, “It’s extraordinary how ordinary life is,” and spends the remainder of the story exploring the mundane. Philip Feeney (aka Mister Psyche) is fresh out of secondary school, living with his parents and doing odd jobs for neighbors in the small coastal town of Ballintra, in modern-day Ireland. His primary task is taking care of his grand-uncle Joejoe and Joejoe’s friend, the Blackbird. The elderly duo provide mild entertainment, and Healy details Philip’s tasks perhaps too diligently, as the reader is often left feeling as if they’ve spent time doing chores rather than reading a book. Revolving around the main trio, tangential characters come and go, and Philip either amuses or aids them in a series of exploits, making the book reminiscent of Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat. As Joejoe and the Blackbird begin to deteriorate with age, the story comes into focus, albeit quite late. Highly stylized, chock-full of colorful dialogue, and steeped in Irish idioms, this is a leisurely read about ordinary folk acting out the dramas that make a life. (July 5)
From the Publisher
Praise for Long-Time, No-See

"A grand read, funny and provocative…tenderness and affection win out despite gunfire, despite ancient jealousies and grudges."-Annie Proulx, The Guardian

"Funny, sad, wild, tender, profound, brilliant…Ireland's finest living novelist." Roddy Doyle

"A family saga bristling with curiously appealing oddballs and misfits." -Entertainment Weekly

"Healy's first novel in ten years is a triumphant return…A beautiful account of one person's acceptance of his own quiet heroism." -Library Journal

"Highly stylized, chock-full of colorful dialogue, and steeped in Irish idioms, this is a leisurely read about ordinary folk acting out the dramas that make a life." -Publishers Weekly

"Compassionate and elegiac…a celebration of the whole gift of existence…everyday chores and family obligations are elevated to the level of epiphany."--The Times Literary Supplement

"Unforgettable…Nothing happens, but everything happens. Times passes. People die. It all seems so true to actual life, so tangible and authentic…so real you feel you could step into the book and live there." -The Sunday Independent

"Terrific and exhilarating…Healy's characters have mouths full of poetry… the poetry of the everyday, laconic, idiosyncratic, and wonderfully droll…Every page is a pleasure to read and the entire book is, as one of Healy's characters might put it, an astonishment." -The Sunday Times

"A richly compelling comic-sad tapestry of love and death in which, like the pauses in a Pinter play, truth lurks in what's left unsaid, catching us off guard." -The Independent

Library Journal
Philip Feeney, known as Mister Psyche to the locals of the Irish fishing village Ballintra, spends his days tending to odd jobs and his granduncle Joejoe while waiting for the results of his school exams. When Joejoe's best friend, a curious, sweet-smelling soul known as the Blackbird, badly injures himself, Philip tries to navigate the swelling grief that threatens to overwhelm his family and friends. Philip's own mind and heart, still fragile since the untimely death of his best friend, Mickey, the year before, prove resilient and true. VERDICT Healy's (Sudden Times; A Goat's Song) first novel in ten years is a triumphant return by the author Roddy Doyle considers "Ireland's greatest writer." Philip's voice, at once tender and odd, like Joejoe's slightly out-of-tune accordion, narrates. His easy familiarity with Ballintra's seasonal rhythms, landscapes, and inhabitants credibly shapes the contours of an interior life open to all perceptions and ideas that existence offers him. A beautiful account of one person's acceptance of his own quiet heroism.—J. Greg Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
Kirkus Reviews
A young man holds his grief over the death of a friend in check by watching over his granduncle; a quietly impressive (if overlong) fourth novel from the Irish Healy (Sudden Times, 2000, etc.). Philip Feeney, also known as Mister Psyche, lives in the village of Ballintra on the Atlantic with his Da, a handyman, and his Ma, a hospital nurse. While waiting for his junior college exam results and doing odd jobs, he looks after his granduncle, Joejoe, who lives alone. He makes his tea and reads to him from the Bible and even scratches his back (the old man has psoriasis). Joejoe's other visitor is known as the Blackbird, a loner slipping into his dotage like Joejoe. Then a shocking event occurs. A bullet is fired through Joejoe's window. The old man suspects another neighbor, the General, nursing a 50-year-old grudge over a woman, but that's ridiculous. Philip's Da believes the Blackbird is the shooter, but has no proof. It will only be much later that the surprising truth emerges. The old men represent an ancient culture that in 2006 eurozone Ireland is vanishing; Poles and Lithuanians have arrived, looking for work. Much of the novel is beautifully captured dialogue, though Philip seldom says more than two words at a time. He professes not to have an interior life. Part of him has closed down, and only scattered hints tell us why. A year before, his close friend Mickey Brady, driving drunk, died in an accident. Frustratingly for the reader, and surely too for Philip's loyal girlfriend, Anna, the catharsis never comes; the balance is off. When he's not looking after Joejoe, Philip devotes his energy to building a wall for his mother's future vegetable garden; it's a symbol of regeneration. The novel's second half is increasingly elegiac as the two mutually dependent old-timers totter toward the grave. An affecting account of the love that leaps across a generation.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670023608
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Publication date:
07/05/2012
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.06(h) x 1.42(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Long Time, No See

“A grand read, funny and provocative…tenderness and affection win out despite gunfire, despite ancient jealousies and grudges.” —Annie Proulx, The Guardian

“Funny, sad, wild, tender, profound, brilliant…Ireland’s finest living novelist.” —Roddy Doyle

“A family saga bristling with curiously appealing oddballs and misfits.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Healy’s first novel in ten years is a triumphant return…A beautiful account of one person’s acceptance of his own quiet heroism.” —Library Journal

“Highly stylized, chock-full of colorful dialogue, and steeped in Irish idioms, this is a leisurely read about ordinary folk acting out the dramas that make a life.” —Publishers Weekly

“Compassionate and elegiac…a celebration of the whole gift of existence…everyday chores and family obligations are elevated to the level of epiphany.” —The Times Literary Supplement

“Unforgettable…Nothing happens, but everything happens. Times passes. People die. It all seems so true to actual life, so tangible and authentic…so real you feel you could step into the book and live there.” —The Sunday Independent

“Terrific and exhilarating…Healy’s characters have mouths full of poetry… the poetry of the everyday, laconic, idiosyncratic, and wonderfully droll…Every page is a pleasure to read and the entire book is, as one of Healy’s characters might put it, an astonishment.” —The Sunday Times

“A richly compelling comic-sad tapestry of love and death in which, like the pauses in a Pinter play, truth lurks in what’s left unsaid, catching us off guard.” —The Independent

Read More

Meet the Author

Dermot Healy is the author of three novels (including A Goat’s Song), a memoir, a collection of stories, and five volumes of poetry. His prizes include the Hennessey Award for Short Stories, the Tom Gallon Award, and the Encore Award. He was the winner of the 2002 America Ireland Literary Award, which was funded by the America Ireland Fund and given in recognition of his contribution to Irish letters.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Long Time, No See 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Mmhm." Stares at the cat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you trust me?