Shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Winner of the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award
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 still some 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, Bohane has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there's trouble in the air. But now they say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and there's trouble in the air...
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The most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years - Irvine Welsh
Astonishing.This marks him out as a writer of great promise - Guardian
Beautiful, arresting, precise...a compelling creation - Irish Times
An electrifying masterpiece - Joseph O'Connor
City of Bohane is a book fizzing with energy, juiced up on the possibilities of language and replete with a plot - Glasgow Herald
Exuberant, spine-tinglingly atmospheric... This hyper-real world stuffed with overblown violence and all manner of cartoon-like grotesques is certainly a highly entertaining place to lose yourself in - Metro
Exhilarating ...this novel confirms the arrival of a fresh and original voice in Irish literature... Hugely entertaining and original - Irish Sunday Times
Addictive first novel...this slangy, plosive-packed prose is what makes the book a success...an expert manipulation of syntax keeps things zingy...it is a plus point that the dystopia bears no allegorical weight, thriving purely as an imaginary realm to be taken at face value - Sunday Times
This is a darkly funny tale of gangland warfare in Ireland that reads like a fast-paced film - Cosmopolitan
It's hilarious and visceral - Financial Times
The plot is engrossing, with strong bones, yet sinuous and surprising... Barry plays with words with a manic joy and its this use of language that draws the reader in - Time Out
vVolent and bleak and yet somehow full of romance, the driving story and powerful use of language make for a heady experience - The Times, Books of the Year
Knocked me out, big time... The characters are demented but also weirdly familiar; an amazing book altogether - Irish Times, Books of the Year
Humour, moxie and a real love of the lingo... A riot of music, gang warfare and a hilarious patois - Irish Times, Books of the Year
Bohane is a post-apocalyptic, low-tech, dog-eat-dog Irish city - and it's mesmerising. The characters' coarse language is vividly poetic, and there's a peculiar optimism about their lives that comes of living in an atmosphere of heart-stopping brutishness. A unique and fascinating book - Irish Times
Kevin Barry's story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, won the Rooney Prize in 2007. His short fiction has appeared widely on both sides of the Atlantic, most recently in The New Yorker. City of Bohane is his first novel.