Young Skins, Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett

“So much of friendship is merely that: the saying of nothing in place of something.”

Last summer, Matthew went to Ireland. He brought back a shirt that makes him look like one of Mumford’s sons and he brought me this book.

Matthew, in case I hadn’t said it yet: thank you. I mean it. Thank you partly because Colin Barrett is a babe (seriously, lookit that picture) and partly because holy shit, this book is amazing. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a collection of short stories, all of which are (and I say this in a cavalier manner, without having read very much Irish literature) exceedingly Irish in tone. The stories are all set in the fictional town of Glanbeigh, County Mayo, and I cannot be alone in wanting a private reading from Mr. Barrett in a dark pub somewhere in Glanbeigh.

These stories remind me of Alice Munro. They’re whole worlds created to explore friendship, longing, mortality – and if the themes are great, the sentences are incredible. The way Barrett puts words together is careful and measured, but also carefree. You can practically hear him breathe. You can hear the characters breathe, certainly, well-meaning vigilantes like Ace and sorrowful bandmates Doran and Eli, set loose on these pages. I am going to be reading this book a lot.

Books read: 24

 

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