Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


Good to see a new paperback issue of Colm Toibin's marvellous novel BROOKLYN, which I feel like reading all over again - I gave my hardback to a girl pal who is from Enniscorthy, the town it is set in, and she loved it. Perhaps Colm's most accessible (and highly praised) work, it is set in the Ireland of the '50s when smart local girl Eilis works in a shop but gets an opportunity to move to Brooklyn and study and improve herself. Small town life of the time is nicely captured and Eilis finds life in Brooklyn much the same among the Irish community there, but before too long she finds her feet - and an Italian boyfriend, also seeking to improve his lot. Then a death calls her back to Ireland where she has to make some hard choices about what to do next. Its engrossingly plotted and a very satisfying read, like Toibin's THE STORY OF THE NIGHT or his collection of short stories MOTHERS AND SONS, and like them is infused with gay sensibility and Colm's precise detail. Highly recommended.

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