WInner of the Goldsmiths Prize
Prize shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2015
He will spend three days alone on his island. That is all that he asks...John is so many miles from love now and home. This is the story of his strangest trip.
John owns a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland. Maybe it is there that he can at last outrun the shadows of his past.
The tale of a wild journey into the world and a wild journey within, Beatlebone is a mystery box of a novel. It's a portrait of an artist at a time of creative strife. It is most of all a sad and beautiful comedy from one of the most gifted stylists now at work.
©2015 Canongate Books; 2015 Canongate Books Ltd
I love the conceit: the fictionalised account of real events in which John Lennon tries to lose the press & find himself, in Western Ireland. I liked the unconventional structure: the author wrote his little article about how he conceived, researched & wrote the book, in the middle, not at the end. I enjoyed reading the book. But there are really only two characters & I failed to engage with either of them. The whole book strains under the weight oftoo much worn out, broken down psychedelia. There's a weird musing, or a spook, or a hallucination in almost every paragraph. Eventually I was listening to it because I enjoyed the sounds, like a piece of music. When it finished (at the end of the middle, because there seems to be no ending) I was surprised buts lightly relieved.
Kevin Barry reads with the same authentic tone with which he writes. He creates atmosphere with ease, allows for fun, cheek and raw truth to coexist in the same sentance. Pretentions are exposed and honesty delivered. A well told yarn.
I found the experience of listening to this book wildly challenging and deeply moving. The author/narrator weaves a fantastic tale.
It took me 3 or 4 restarts before I felt confident and comfortable enough to proceed. I relistened to most chapters 2 or 3 times so I could savour the precision of the language and the flow of the meandering.
The best that can be said is that there are vague echoes of Dylan Thomas. I gave up half way through the book. The story seems pointless, other than to see how many swearwords could be put on the page. I object strongly to the language and can see no reason why the book was ever written
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