Big Readers Forum Index


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Novels and short stories -> Discussion of individual novels
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3360


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry  Reply with quote

I think Sebastian Barry's prize-winning novel DAYS WITHOUT END is a beautiful and engrossing book.  The story takes place in America from the 1840s to the 1860s and tells of the many adventures of Thomas McNulty and John Cole both Irish and when the story begins aged 16.  Tom and John are lovers, but this isn't a gay novel.  When we first encounter them they take a job as dancing partners wearing drag in a saloon bar, dancing with womenless miners. After that they join the army, which at that time is policing the activities of  Indians. Then they become part of the Union Army in the Civil War and find themselves parents to an Indian girl who becomes an essential part of their lives. The story, full of dramatic incidents, is told in the first-person by Tom in a lively, wonderfully idiosyncratic and poetic Irish voice, full of the most marvellous descriptive passages, especially the accounts of fierce, violent and bloody battles. Not a book for the squeamish. It's an exuberant and totally engaging book.  I lived with the characters as they experienced life-changing events in a turbulent period of American history, and cared deeply about what happened to them, savouring every sentence. Perhaps the novel's most unusual aspect is its dealing with the subject of gender-identity. One of the male characters discovers that he prefers to dress as a female, and this plays an important part in the narrative and is dealt with sensitively and unsensationally by Barry.  A lovely, unusual book which will stay with me. Highly recommended.
,


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2972


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never read any Sebastian Barry, though he's a name I know.  You have made me feel I am missing out. A Long Long Way and On Canaan's Side are both in our bookclub list to choose from.  (There are over 1000 books to choose from though.) Maybe next year.



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Novels and short stories -> Discussion of individual novels All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Big Readers Theme by Mike Alexander
Based on Artemis by Vjacheslav Trushkin
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum