The Boatman and Other Stories

The Boatman and Other Stories

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

The breathtaking short story collection from the Costa-shortlisted Irish writer

In these twelve quietly dazzling, carefully crafted stories, Billy O'Callaghan explores the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love.

Spanning a century and two continents - from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei - The Boatman follows an unforgettable cast of characters. Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man's life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.

Ranging from the elegiac to the brutally confrontational, these densely layered tales reveal the quiet heroism and gentle dignity of ordinary life. O'Callaghan is a master celebrant of the smallness of the human flame against the dark: its strength, and its steady brightness.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 25mm | 379g
  • Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1787330907
  • 9781787330900
  • 41,295

Review Text

"Wonderful stories… A masterclass... The reader is lulled into a false sense of ordinariness that gives way — sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly — to a moment of cataclysm…that leaves the reader reeling… There is no denying the power of his words… O’Callaghan’s stories are beautiful, plain and simple, and each one is devastatingly good."
show more

Review quote

From heartbreak to love, we see relationships unfold with honesty. O'Callaghan paints wonderful pictures and brings the reader into the moment with him. -- Amy Finnerty * RTE Ireland * From the very talented Billy O'Callaghan... elegiac, carefully conceived tales of ordinary lives. -- Donal O'Donoghue * RTE Guide * Allow this collection of short stories to sweep you away... Each poignant story in this collection grips you... What better way to devastate the reader than to show just how happy people can be? * Irish Country Magazine * [Billy O'Callaghan] makes epics out of the unspoken, the barely said, the half-hinted at, the wordless nod... This is O'Callaghan's quest, to reveal who his characters really are, especially when they're burdened with life's cruelties. And in chronicling the bravery sometimes required in simply putting one foot in front of the other, he makes heroes of the humblest of us. -- Anne Cunningham * Sunday Independent * Billy O'Callaghan writes beautifully... In evoking atmosphere, such a key element in the short story, he is matchless... His prose is a feast after a famine... The luxuriance of the language, the agility of the sentences, and the depth of the reflections. These stories are like classical sonatas. -- Eilis Ni Dhuibhne * Irish Times * Wonderful stories... A masterclass... The reader is lulled into a false sense of ordinariness that gives way - sometimes gradually, sometimes abruptly - to a moment of cataclysm...that leaves the reader reeling... There is no denying the power of his words... O'Callaghan's stories are beautiful, plain and simple, and each one is devastatingly good. -- Kathleen MacMahon * Sunday Times * A master of the short story. -- John Banville * Irish Times *Books of the Year* *
show more

About Billy O'Callaghan

Billy O'Callaghan is the author of the critically acclaimed novel My Coney Island Baby, which has been translated into eight languages. His story 'The Boatman' was shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award. He lives in Douglas, a village on the edge of Cork City.
show more