Book Thirteen 2014:
The Thing About December by Donal Ryan
I don’t want to tell you too much about this genuinely incredible, stand-out piece of fiction. It’s set in relatively-modern day Ireland and, through the eyes of its narrator, tells a story of family, small towns (and how people can be total bastards to those closest to them) and how tabloid newspapers can twist a story any way they want.
I actually have no criticisms of it. I love the voices her creates for his characters, the sometimes stifling sense of parochialism he creates, the arc of his stories. He is the bright, shining star of new Irish fiction and, in me at least, he has a reader hooked on whatever else he will create.
I didn’t think I could enjoy an Irish novel this year more than I did his earlier The Spinning Heart.