Friday, 30 March 2012

And ~ Jim Mullarkey

'Heaven,' the first story in this beautifully written collection, is told from the viewpoint of a recently bereaved little boy. There is something simultaneously experimental and authentic about this piece which is bursting with 'ands' - the story almost reads like a prose poem. Many of the stories in this collection are conveyed via a stream of consciousness, meaning that the reader is 'frequently immersed in the fluid thought and sense-impressions of... various characters.' In 'Mary Up in Donegal' simple Johnny misses nurse Mary and looks for her, 'First Love' details Peter's attempt to 'throw off the burden of responsibility and importance' and  'Kung Fu' captures Jayo's thoughts as he is being caned: the Dean looks at Jayo's hand 'the way you look at a stake when you're about to hit it with a sledge,' but Jayo looks at his hand 'the way you look at a baby.' Mullarkey's characters are always interesting and his stories explore the 'cracks and nooks of the psyche.'

Read a review here.
Read an extract from 'Heaven' here.

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