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Summary

Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa First Novel Award. Winner of the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.

Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines.

There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside Rises and the eerie bogs of Big Nothin' that the city really lives.

For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all up and go straight... And then there's his mother.

©2011 Kevin Barry (P)2013 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd, Random House Audiobooks 2013

What listeners say about City of Bohane

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  • YA
  • 16-02-15

Impressive Debut

Visceral,powerful first novel. Witty and yet unforgiving. Unusually the author's reading adds a credible sense of place, pace and characterisation.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A gripping story poetically narrated by the author

This novel, as distinct from the sometimes sterile readings by professional readers, is narrated by the books author. His attention to language and flow is brought to light in his passionate reading of his own work.

The novel itself is at times gruesome but also emotive in those moments. One is drawn by the in-depth character depictions into this dark, cruel world where surviving the year is a success. His descriptions of their clothes are overly elaborate and take somewhat from it as you can't skip it, like with a book.

Overall it's a complex and exciting story well told by the books own writer.

3 people found this helpful

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A Work of Genius

This is an astonishing book. The incandescently good writing coupled with the phantasmagorical landscape and cast of characters makes for an unforgettable listening experience. It's a kind of mix of Clockwork Orange, Mad Max, and Blood Meridian replete with brute savagery but with an undertow of great humour throughout. I think it is best listened to rather than read as Barry is an outstanding narrator and he brings the exotic characters to life with their mixture of Cork and Limerick working class accents (Barry is a native of Limerick and worked for some years in Cork). That said, I intend to buy the hardcopy version in order to dip into it every now and then to savour the brilliant writing and renew acquaintance with some of the disreputable types who populate the pages. The only other book I do that with is Joyce's "Ulysses". I was sorry when the story came to a close as inhabiting the City of Bohane for an hour or two per day was something to be savoured. Without a doubt, one of the best Audible experiences I've had.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable fiction with a lot of Irish dialect.

I struggled a little to catch everything narrated, as I am not a native speaker and the language used in the book is quite descriptive. Louds of low frequency words. However I enjoyed the book and intend to listen to it again in order to catch some of the missed details. I really enjoyed the dialect as it the tipical one for the Limerick city. I think the Boham is actually Limerick city as the river and everything described matches. Six miles bridge had been named eight mile bridge in the book.

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Limerick slang boy!!

very nicely read by the author 👌
Great world he has created, hope he dose a second book following on from this one 👍

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Sex, Drugs, Fashion, Feuds and lots of Violence

This is a very original novel that is beautifully read by the author and, heaven knows, it would make an amazing film or TV series. Don't expect an easy ride though as it is not an immediately accessible narrative and it does make the listener/reader work for their rewards but once you do tune in it is poetically beautiful with utterly gorgeous imagery. It is highly original but also has echoes of Clockwork Orange, Mad Max and Peaky Blinders with the added ingredient of melancholic Irish mysticism, romance and ultra - violence. That's a powerful cocktail in my estimation. Anyone who loves language and the poetry of language will adore this novel.

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  • no
  • 16-03-21

Hypnotic

Soaked up every mesmerising word of it. Would book a flight to Bohane but...Covid put a stop to that.

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Substance and style like no other

The wildest most sophisticated tale of love of, of Irish though and language,
I’m sorry to see it go

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Hmmmmmm

Okay, to start with getting your head around the slang and the Irish accent takes some time. I loved this book for its narrative and the use of langue and is an entirely new style of reading for me. Sadly the characters lack any kind of warmth and the plot is very thin and left me disappointed this could have been a masterpiece with some more plots and twists but ended up very flat. Apart from these negatives, the book remains in my mind and is worth a go

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Lyrical in spoken word

Despite the dark dystopian nature of the book there were many times when I laughed out loud. Brilliant lyrical writing and excellent in spoken word.

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  • JunkyardMessiah
  • 13-08-19

Perfect.

Tight story, lush language and a just as much (if not more) of a pleasure to listen to the author as to read his work. Pure outrageous love and sorrow. Rash revenge, delicious decadence and slow slides into madness and melancholy. And oh does this language linger. Bravo performance!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Sites
  • 09-04-21

Dripping in Irish Gothic, you check me?

Kevin Barry powers a narrative with description so arresting you’d think you were watching a Cirque de Soleil show rather than listening to an audio book. A genius of color and mood.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 29-01-21

Irish Darkness!

Great book. A little difficult to translate all the Irish slang, but the book is more about an overall feel. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Clay G.
  • 01-03-22

I have no idea what happened in this story

I think maybe this would be a great book if a read it instead of listening to it or if I understood the dialect. As it is I have no idea of what happened at all. If I had to write a book report on this I would get an F- On the bright side the narrator was pleasant to listen to.

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  • thomas
  • 14-07-20

Glossary

Nice book, great reader. Lots of interesting Irish slang. I wish there was a glossary.

I enjoyed listening, mostly because of the reader and descriptions of people and places, but was a bit disappointed overall with the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-01-20

beautifully written but difficult to follow

I did not enjoy the plot/story.
difficult to finish
I would not recommend
beautiful description of characters clothes