Book: The Spinning Heart, by Donal Ryan
Genre: Contemporary fiction – longlisted for the Man Booker prize, 2013.
Where I got it: Won it! (To be strictly accurate, I bought the Kindle version of the book with a voucher that I won).
Length: 160 pages
Briefly, it’s set in a small Irish town in the aftermath of the economic collapse. A builder/developer goes bankrupt, and the consequences are far-reaching…
Comments: This is an excellent book. Each chapter is narrated in a different person’s voice. The title of each chapter is simply the name of the person narrating that chapter, so potential confusion is avoided. A picture builds up slowly, each perspective adding some new information, but above all adding a different slant. Not everything is spelled out, the reader has to make some imaginative jumps, but that’s part of the appeal.
The one thing that I did not like was the continual use of the colloquial construction “they do be” – they do be saying, they do be eating, etc. It seemed overdone, stage-Irish. Even if it is how people really speak in Ryan’s part of the country, I could have done with less of it!
Nevertheless this is a great book; a big story in a short number of pages.
Challenges: Full House Challenge, for the category “Won or borrowed”; Reading Round Munster personal challenge, for Tipperary (Donal Ryan’s native county); ebook reading challenge 2014.