It’s a strange book, unconventional perhaps, charming at points boringly dull at others. The narrative is dense, an unseemly mixture of sarcasm, destruction, sexual desire and comic humor. It is a brilliant portrayal of the upheavals in Ireland during the 1920s and the ensuing disintegration of the British Empire. Inspite of all its qualities, the booker prize seems unwarranted. The narrative is inconsistent and lacks the vision necessary for the work to be categorized as a great historic novel; at best it is not the best work of a wonderfully talented writer.
In those days the Majestic was still standing in Kilnalough at the very end of a slim peninsula covered with dead pines leaning here and there at odd angles. At that time there were probably yachts there too during the summer since the hotel held a regatta every July. As for the regatta, for some reason it was discontinued years ago, before the Spencers took over the management of the place. And a few years later still the Majestic itself followed the boats and preceded the pines into oblivion by burning to the ground — but by that time, of course, the place was in such a state of disrepair that it hardly mattered. Read More »