David Ireland, I’m sorry to say, has, until now, been unknown to me. Thanks to Island magazine, and perhaps particularly to its current editor, Matthew Lamb, that deficit has been addressed. The idea of publishing a novel in five parts is both novel and gutsy, and all power to the Island crew who backed the idea.

But to the work itself which brims with energy, there’s an authorial voice that is both conscious of itself and wonderfully philosophical. Told in the first person through diary entries (or at least this first fifth is) the writing manages to loop around questions of existence without repetition. To be short and sharp when needed, reminiscent and nuanced when other concerns require some flesh. David Ireland’s style is one of the delights of the prose. Thank god I’ve been exposed finally. It has made me richer, and, as I await the next four instalments, I can only imagine it will make my writing richer too.




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