Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AT SWIM, TWO BOYS, by Jamie O'Neill

 "A dangerous, glorious book: the kind that is likely to make absolutely anyone cry and laugh in public places."  The New York Times Book Review

I have been rereading this brilliant novel by Jamie O'Neill.  Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916 in Ireland, At Swim, Two Boys is a tender and tragic love story.  You may have noticed I tend to gravitate towards the tender and tragic.  I guess it sort of describes a part of my nature.  When I first read the novel I was so blown away by it that I had to find the author and write him.  We became email pals for a time and I am so happy for his continued success.  I am also including a dance piece that is being revived to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the publication of the book. The Welsh dance company, Earthfall's award-winning production of At Swim, Two Boys will return in Autumn 2011. The story tells of the developing love between two teenage boys and as the space slowly fills with water, the boys' relationship unfolds. Like the book, the dance piece is tender and visually beautiful and completely evocative of the story.  The production previously toured to sell-out audiences in Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland and mainland Europe.  I can only hope it comes to the States this time, but I would go to Ireland in a heartbeat to see it.  If you enjoyed Sons, you will enjoy this book.

"...A terrible fear shook him, a fear for his boy and what the future might hold.  Lest he should stumble and the crowd should find him.  For we live as angels among the Sodomites.  And every day the crowd finds some one of us out.  I know their lewd calls and their obscene gestures.  I know their mockery that bides their temper's loss.  I have seen in lanes and alleys of Piccadilly faces streaked with their spit and piss, and mouths they have bloodied with boots and blows.  For rarely an angel finds a Lot to house him.  And I would not my boy should suffer so."

1 comment:

harry said...

I loved this novel. O'Neill's prose is astonishingly beautiful. It reads like poetry.