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Summary

Since his landmark debut collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, and his award-winning second book, Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry has been acclaimed as one of the world's most accomplished and gifted short-story writers.

In this third collection, That Old Country Music, we encounter a ragbag of West of Ireland characters, many on the cusp between love and catastrophe, heartbreak and epiphany, resignation and hope. These stories show an Ireland in a condition of great flux but also as a place where older rhythms, and an older magic, somehow persist.

Barry's lyric intensity, the vitality of his comedy and the darkness of his vision recall the work of masters of the genre like Flannery O'Connor and William Trevor, but he has forged a style which is patently his own.

©2020 Kevin Barry (P)2020 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about That Old Country Music

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Captivating

Another tremendous collection from Barry. It just flies out of the traps with The Coast of Leitrim, and never lets up. For me, that short story alongside St Catherine’s, Roma Kid and Who’s Dead McCarthy are actually some of the finest short stories set down on paper (or digital bytes). Always Barry is a great reader of his work, particularly the grains of humour.

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captivating in the ordinary

Emotive with Laugh out loud moments. Wonderful narration. Conveys spirit of the landscapes and people.

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great collection of stories

That lad has a mastery of language and never fails to delight, characters are fully formed even in the short story form

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Superb

Another excellent collection of short stories. There’s a more maudlin edge to this lot though. Less dark, more a general sadness. Lots of longing for a lost love, and previous feelings. I suspect the author will be divorced within the year. That or renewed his vows.

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Staggering

I’m jealous of Barry ability to capture the flow of Irish thought, as a painter I wish I could do the same

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Another Superb Collection

This is Kevin Barry's third collection of short stories and it does not disappoint. The tales of disparate characters in and from the west of Ireland are complemented by Barry's masterly narration which brings them to life. Outstanding.