“A blackly comic journey into the abyss . . . Beautifully written . . . Barry is a clarvoyant narrator of the male psyche and a consistent lyrical visionary . . . What distinguishes this book beyond its humour, terror and beauty of description is its moral perception . . . It is a plunging spiritual immersion into the parlous souls of wrongful men.”


Just finished Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry.  This is the story of two ageing friends who have fallen on hard times now as their days of drug dealing and other crimes appear to be about over. Charlie Redmond and Maurice Hearne are two Irish men. They are here hoping to find Charlie’s daughter Dilly, who they haven’t seen in years since she left Ireland after her Mothers death. As they wait the story of their lives unfolds as they talk to each other in their own peculiar fashion with a sordid outlook on life.  Through their various connections they have been informed that Dilly will appear on that terminal on that specific date so they wait.  And wait.

The long wait gives us the opportunity to learn about their lives, the good and the bad, their mistakes, and Maurice’s love for Charleys wife
Dilly almost appears as an afterthought as one becomes engrossed in these two men. The story is a terrific insight into the minds of these individuals whose thoughts are so much different from ours. At 255 pages it is a reasonable length. Barry is a well regarded writer and his effort here is worth the read.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 23rd April 2020

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Richard Franco