20 October 2009

Ghosts & Lightning

by Trevor Byrne

Canongate Books. Adult Other. Paperback rrp 24.95

Ghosts & Lightning is the story of Denny, a young Irishman with not much going for him. He escapes Dublin to try and find a better life, only to be called back when his mother dies.

Denny and his sister, Paula, struggle to come to terms with the sudden loss of the woman who kept them all together. Bound by shock and loss, they procrastinate through the days, weeks and months, doing nothing. Their mother’s once pristine and well kept home is now a squalor of filth, dirt and drop-ins.

Denny’s friends are a bunch of junkies, madmen and con artists but they keep Denny going. When Paula claims there are ghosts in the house they all rally to help. The séance scene is funny, bizarre and witty. A true pivot point. It is worth reading the book just to enjoy this chapter.

Ghosts & Lightning reads with a broad Dublin accent and anyone shy of rough and raw language should take heed. The language flows along with the “lilt” in the air and what some might term vulgarity, is totally appropriate and in character context. This is a story of a life devoid of even the hint of wealth, glamour or famous people. This is the story of an unlikely hero, putting one foot in front of the other, and finding his own riches along the way.

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