A kiss that just won't happen. A disco at the end of the world. A teenage goth on a terror mission. And OAP kiddie-snatchers, and scouse real-ale enthusiasts, and occult weirdness in the backwoods...
Dark Lies the Island is a collection of unpredictable stories about love and cruelty, crimes, desperation, and hope from the man Irvine Welsh has described as 'the most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years'. Every page is shot through with the riotous humour, sympathy and blistering language that mark Kevin Barry as a pure entertainer and a unique teller of tales.
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The most exciting Irish short story writer of his generation, one whose best work rivals William Trevor and John McGahern. His language is thrilling: Barry has a Martin Amis-style aversion to writing so much as one dull sentence. Talent this raw and natural simply cannot be taught. - Sunday Times
Kevin Barry’s best short stories are like a spade to the face... Short-story writers are often talented phrasemakers, but only the best ensure each phase is as hardworking as it is attractive... Barry earns comparison with the great and shamefully neglected VS Pritchett, whose short stories also employed pronounced comic means for serious, compassionate ends. - Guardian
Lingers like the best kind of novel. - Metro
Reading a short story by Kevin Barry is a bit like listening to a kraut-rock-record from the 1970s. The foundations are built on a solid rhythm. Then every so often, the form veers left-field, unveiling a portal to a world of magic. - Spectator Blog
Richly rewarding. - Financial Times
A rhythmic, rural Hiberno-English onslaught, which forces black humour into the bleakest of corners. - Times Literary Supplement
Extraordinary. - Sunday Times
[O]ne of the best authors currently in the UK. This collection of short stories shows British penchant for the sublime and the ridiculous at its best. - Monocle
Barry's work is beautifully crafted, written with pace and depth, and somehow simultaneously heart-warming and scathing. - Big Issue
Barry is Ireland’s must-read literary author. - Sunday Business Post Magazine
Still ringing in my ears, months after I read it ... wickedly stylish writing. - Irish Times
Full to the brim of its hat with fine stories, strong rhythms and well-tuned voices. - Irish Times
Every line ... brings pleasures and recognitions. - Irish Times
Kevin Barry's debut story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, won the Rooney Prize in 2007. His first novel, City of Bohane, was published in 2011 and shortlisted for the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year and the Costa First Novel Award. His short fiction has appeared widely on both sides of the Atlantic, in publications such as Best European Fiction, The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story and the New Yorker.