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Art of Memory: Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither

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This is one of those books.  You devour it because it is beautiful and unnerving and compelling and also because, deep down, you know this is not a book you can live with for days or weeks.  It is not a book that you can stare at on your bedstand or your living room table.  It is a book to be consumed.  Afterwards, you might want to forget it. But you won't be able to.  In other words, it is an Irish novel.

Do I recommend it? I do.  I think. Maybe. I'm not sure.

I am writing this blog post less to tell you about this book because I am not ready to talk about it than because I want to try to hold onto some of the language without having to actually pick up and revisit the book.  The language astounds me.  It is not derivative.  At least I don't think so.  If it is derivative, it is of Joyce with maybe a tiny bit of Patrick McCabe.  It is less, I don't know, inexorable, than either of those authors.  And yet the story told here is much more haunting than theirs'. De…