Long Time, No See book review

Dermot Healy

Time In

Set in 2006, Long Time, No See presents the tale of a provincial locale and its sundry residents. Despite the apparent simplicity of Ballintra, a small town on the northwest coast of Ireland, the intertwined lives of its inhabitants are complex and ever encroached upon by a not-entirely-welcome modernity.

The story revolves around teenager Philip Feeney, who is caught between his ambition to find a better life by attending university and the obligations that keep him close to home. While awaiting exam results, he spends his days caring for Ballintra’s old guard – particularly his granduncle Joejoe and Joejoe’s friend, who goes by the sobriquet ‘The Blackbird’. The two elderly men while away the hours trading barbs, making accusations and spinning yarns about ghost hens.

Meanwhile, our young narrator isn’t without his own demons, which include an incident involving a driving fatality that persistently haunts him. Elizabeth Nelson

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