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