Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Challenging Irish Author

The first being James Joyce, of course, and the second being Joseph O'Connor.  I know it's a terribly political thing to compare an author to James Joyce, but I don't really care because:
  1. I'm only doing it only on the basis that they're both Irish, and they both require a smidgen of brain power to read...and
  2. the similarities end there, perhaps, since I've only read Dubliners, and have enjoyed O'Connor more than Joyce (largely due to a perceived arrogance I pick up from Joyce).
Oh Joyce, may I someday be able to look past my
irritations and appreciate your literary genius. (credit)
Although, I'd guess that my current distractibility level in my reading life has something to do with it also.  I miss reading dreadfully, and though I am getting back into it, it has been a slow process.  I need to be reading something fairly light and engaging, and yet I can barely keep up with my obligatory book-group selections.

Joseph O'Connor (photo credit)
Currently I'm reading Joseph O'Connor's Redemption Falls for a discussion this coming weekend.  Having read (and looooved) Star of the Sea, my friend and myself decided to join the city of Dublin in 2011 for their One City, One Book event, and read his book Ghost Light.  I never wrote about that book in depth, not because of a lack of enjoyment, but because there was so much to digest.  Loosely based on the love affair between the great Irish playwright John Millington Synge and the Abbey Theatre actress Molly Allgood, Ghost Light not only told an amazingly captivating story, but told it in a unique, almost experimental, way.  A reading experience to be certain.

Redemption Falls is about Irish Americans in the aftermath of the American Civil War, and at page 77 I have very little real idea of what is happening...not a good sign.  Like I said, my brain simply isn't up for it right now.  It's making me want to read some nonfiction (straightforward, right?) or something humorous (easily digestible, yeah?) but I must keep on reading for I have nearly 400 pages left to turn before next weekend hits.  Problem is, time crunch + not really knowing who any of the characters are = flipping pages without being invested.  I wanted to love this book, but it isn't happening so far.



  1. I went through the same reading inability a few months back and all I can say is: bless bestsellers and light fiction. After reading three of them I realized I was craving something more complex and slowly eased back into deep, complex reading. Best of luck to you :)

  2. I actually have Star of the Sea on my WishList already from my trip to Ireland last spring. I'm adding the other two since I can't seem to get enough!! :) Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Not a good sign at all. I also loved Star of the Sea and Ghost Light has been under my radar ever since. Was Redemption Falls his first? Maybe he hand't gotten the hang of it?

  4. I've never read either author, but I'm glad you turned me on to Sebastian Barry.


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