Debut novel with a lot of Skin in the game

Debut novel with a lot of Skin in the game

FICTION: Skintown, By Ciaran McMenamin, Doubleday Ireland, €17

Reflecting on his own first novel, Nightspawn (1971), John Banville once remarked: “The novel, as a form, is remarkably intolerant of youth and inexperience.” Debut novelists, therefore, are often obliged to get by on energy and enthusiasm. The Enniskillen-born actor Ciaran McMenamin has both of these qualities in spades. His debut novel, Skintown, is held together by the sort of anger and passion that only a first novelist can muster. It makes for a rocky but entertaining ride.

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