Dark Lies The Island, By Kevin Barry


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The Independent Culture

In his second collection of short stories, Kevin Barry captures both the pangs of first love and the humiliations of middle-age.

His Irish men appear amiable types but their breezy confessionals are often interrupted by unexpected outbursts of passion and anger.

In the opening story, "Across the Rooftops", a student's abortive post-party kiss ruins an entire summer, while in the nicely sour story, "Wifey Redux", a tormented father rages against his teenage daughter's newly-discovered sexuality.

Barry's best stories combine playful irony with high emotion.