A fractured tale of a riven Ireland

Patrick McCabe knows how to write obsession. His most memorable characters perform spectacular mental feats, jumping hoops, slipping down cracks and making wild, desperate lurches as they live with their pathological fixations.

31st January, 2009

The Holy City By Patrick McCabe Bloomsbury, €15

Patrick McCabe knows how to write obsession. His most memorable characters perform spectacular mental feats, jumping hoops, slipping down cracks and making wild, desperate lurches as they live with their pathological fixations. In The Dead School and Winterwood, and especially in the Butcher Boy, alienation, longing and psychosis are closely, often fatally, linked. In this respect, The Holy City echoes McCabe’s best novels.

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