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Sudden Times

Dermot Healy

Ollie Ewing flees London and tries to readjust to life in his native Sligo in the classic novel by Dermot Healy.

Date Published
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Ollie Ewing is barely surviving. Back home in Sligo after ‘a few experiences’ in London, he collects trolleys in a supermarket car park and lives in a run-down house with a group of art students. Tormented by old regrets and terrible fears — vague recollections of his brother’s violent demise, and his best friend’s grisly end as a pile of charred bones in the back of a lorry — he decides at last to confront his demons.

Critic Reviews

'A writer at the peak of his mighty powers.'

Frank McGuinness
Critic Reviews

'I reached two conclusions when I got to the end of this disturbing, funny, mad and beautifully human novel: it's a great book, and Dermot Healy is Ireland's greatest writer.'

Roddy Doyle
Critic Reviews

'This is a novel set in the world of the everyday, told in everyday shabby language which, through his talent, Dermot Healy turns into something original and astringent and touching and eerily pure. It's a wonderful book which asks to be compared with Joyce and Beckett in more than just an idle way.'

Gordon Burn
Critic Reviews

'Dermot Healy's excellent Sudden Times throws us headlong into the mind of Ollie Ewing, an Irishman trying desperately to escape a terrifying and violent past . . . This is a book written within an ongoing national tradition, with all the rewards that one expects from that tradition: an unpretentious delight in words as words; wit (the book is often very funny), the sense of a real voice talking; the capacity to take on the world's darkness.'

Michael Newton, Guardian

Dermot Healy was a poet, novelist and dramatist. He lived in County Sligo and was the author of A Goat’s Song, Sudden Times, The Bend for Home and Long Time, No See. He won the Hennessy Award (twice), the Tom Gallon Award, the Encore Award and the AWB Vincent American Ireland Fund Literary Award. He died in 2014.

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