The Spinning Heart

The Spinning Heart
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Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J. Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Back Fiction. Back Cookery. Back Travel Guides Travel Literature. Back Art Gardening. Back Sport Books. Log In. Wishlist 0. You have no items in your shopping cart. The Spinning Heart Donal Ryan. Be the first to review this product.

The Spinning Heart Donal Ryan

Availability: In Stock. Overview Details Reviews. I can hear it creak, creak, creak as I walk away. A flaking, creaking, spinning heart.

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The collapse of the economy and the construction industry was catastrophic. Building companies went bust, leaving builders, suppliers and tradesmen massively in debt as each had extended their credit with banks for greater and greater rewards.


Ghost estates of houses in various states of completeness littered the country. The structure of the book is told chapter by chapter in the first person from an array of 21 notable and flawed characters, collectively showing the diversity that exists in a rural Irish community. The image and persona of each character is magically brought to life with wonderful impact. The central character and soul of the novel, is Bobby Mahon, a foreman on a building site owned by Pokey Burke.

There is an uneasy despairing acceptance from many of the characters and a harsh ruminating atmosphere is maintained as we journey through the narrative. Many of the voices carry the connection with Bobby through their own tales; some knowing and admiring him, some recognising his presence from a distance. The wonderful touches of personality that each character paints of the community draws us an amazing picture of life and its hardships, the complexion of the people and how they always find a way to keep going no matter how broken their lives become.

What I found very emotional and heartbreaking were the moments in the narrative where we come to appreciate how damaging a person can be to a wife, husband, son, daughter, friend or neighbour without specifically meaning it, but due to being selfish or stubborn or uncompromising, how they can affect the lives of others, especially those closest to them.

Bobby blames his father for the darkest most destructive aspects of his life. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down.

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Donal Ryan writes with great humanity and honesty, as his rotation through his characters brings life to a village managing goodness, badness and murder. The complexity of perspectives and whispering dialogue is astounding. I highly recommend this book and I'm not surprised it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in as his debut book.

View all 28 comments. Or maybe just that's just me. This book blew me away. The deftness with which the stories are pulled together the further you delve into the book is astonishing. Is this a novella? At a pinch I'd say it squeezes into that mold. Each chapter of this book is told from the perspective o "It's a strange dichotomy, so it is; feeling and knowing; the feeling feels truer that the knowing of its falseness.

Each chapter of this book is told from the perspective of twenty-one people. From women, to men, children, the elderly and even the ghost of a recently departed, tell their story. Each adding their piece of the jigsaw puzzle of life in a small county in Ireland. Through their thoughts and ramblings, we're painted a picture of the trying times they're living through. The impression I have from this story is one of tiredness. A tired country with tired people trying to make ends meet.

They're generally dissatisfied with their lot. And who can blame them?

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The economy is a mess. Jobs are hard to come by. While others are being ripped off to do more work for less money, the logic being they should be "grateful" to have any job at all.

It's no wonder there's so much angst going on. And bitterness, that will be paid for dearly. The sky is falling down. From fledgling relationships, to relationships gone wrong, to comfortable love, we're right there with them, inside the characters' heads. It can't ever be explained. A degree perspective. It's beautifully done.

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I felt quite sad reading this book. So many of the characters made such insightful observations about both themselves and the world around them, it made me catch my breath. And my heart ache. But there are also humorous moments dark as they are. Blink, and you'll miss them.


The Spinning Heart: A Novel [Donal Ryan] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous. Nov 28, Through 21 different voices, Donal Ryan's virtuoso debut novel pieces together a fractured portrait of a community in shock. The local building firm that was the motor of its former roaring prosperity has collapsed, and crooked boss Pokey Burke has fled the country, leaving his.

I found it difficult to write a coherent review, as there is just so much going on in it. So many tangents, so many stories. This is a solid 4. I've found another favourite writer in Donal Ryan. I'm looking forward to catching up with more of his books.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Buddy read with the fabulous Collin. Make sure you check out his review, it's far more coherent than mine. I just said oh love; oh love, what matters now? What matters only love?