The Spinning Heart
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The Spinning Heart

3.88 (3,937 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This book is the Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013. Shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award 2014. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012. "My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn't yet missed a day of letting me down." In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds. The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and JM Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 136 x 200 x 11mm | 120g
  • Transworld Publishers Ireland Ltd
  • Doubleday Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • 1781620083
  • 9781781620083
  • 18,171

Review quote

"Funny, moving and beautifully written" -- Edna O'Brien "It's furious, it's moving, it's darkly funny, it punches you right in the gut, the writing is effortlessly wonderful, and every one of the wide variety of voices rings utterly true." -- Tana French New York Times "[An] extraordinarily accomplished first novel... here is a new Irish writer of the very first order. Donal Ryan is the real deal. ... a brilliantly realised, utterly resonant state-of-the-nation landscape ... Ryan's feat is considerable. Narrative and character information is distributed among so many different voices and yet we never feel at a loss. Even the characters on the margins of the story ... add compelling colour and texture. Best of all, Ryan's ear for speech is acute. ... Given a novel as brilliantly realised as The Spinning Heart, I see no reason to look anywhere but the present. For Donal Ryan, the future is now." -- Declan Hughes Sunday Independent "Donal Ryan's precise and evocative debut ... is a textured account of a community as it was during a brief moment of time. ... unexpectedly tender ... Ryan's prism of life and lives is compellingly humane. ... This is an exciting, relevant and believable contemporary novel about the lost and the wounded that listens to the present without discarding either the sins of the fathers or the literary legacy of the past." -- Eileen Battersby The Irish Times "There's a powerful sense of place and shared history binding Ryan's many voices, their inner and outer selves, distilling a linguistic richness comparable to Under Milk Wood... Ryan's novel ... seems to draw speech out of the deepest silences; the testimony of his characters rings rich and true - funny and poignant and banal and extraordinary - and we can't help but listen." The Guardianshow more

About Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and the title story of A Slanting of the Sun won the writing.ie Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. His third novel, All We Shall Know, will be published in autumn 2016. Donal holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.show more

Review Text

"There’s a powerful sense of place and shared history binding Ryan’s many voices, their inner and outer selves, distilling a linguistic richness comparable to Under Milk Wood. . . . Ryan’s novel . . . seems to draw speech out of the deepest silences; the testimony of his characters rings rich and true – funny and poignant and banal and extraordinary – and we can’t help but listen."show more

Back cover copy

‘A modern literary masterpiece.’ – Ryan Tubridy, RTE ‘My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn’t yet missed a day of letting me down.’ In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds. The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J.M. Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction. ‘I can’t imagine a more original, more perceptive or more passionate work than this. Outstanding.’ – John Boyne ‘A wonderful book … The best first novel I’ve read for years and years and years.’ – Jennifer Johnston ‘Unexpectedly tender … compellingly humane … an exciting, relevant and believable contemporary novel about the lost and the wounded ...’ – The Irish Times ‘Perceptive, intimate and darkly comic.’ – The Observershow more

Rating details

3,937 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 29% (1,157)
4 40% (1,582)
3 22% (870)
2 6% (241)
1 2% (87)
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