A flawed but fascinating return by an Irish writer like few others

Night Boat to Tangier isn’t like anything else you’ve ever read. Summoning a haunted, off-kilter world of loneliness and regret, it lingers powerfully in the mind

7th July, 2019
Kevin Barry: a singular voice in Irish fiction Pic: Clare Keogh

Fiction: Night Boat to Tangier, By Kevin Barry, Canongate, €17.95

Kevin Barry is a gifted and original writer of a particularly Irish stripe. His work reminds you insistently of JM Synge: the torqued Hiberno-English, the lush romanticism, the comedy black as bogwater – not to mention the lonely characters with their chipped shoulders, their pessimistic wit and their lingering auras of postcolonial despair. Nobody outside Ireland, you find yourself thinking, could possibly quite...

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