City of Bohane by Kevin Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The rich dialect in the book sounds like Cork city transplanted to the Irish west coast having taken a wandering route via the Portugal and the Caribbean. There is a rich mixture of cultures and technology in this rudimentary dystopia but we are only given hints as to how the world came to be as it is.
For me, the dialogue was a pleasure, as I grew up hearing the roots of it in Ireland. It is note perfect and frequently scurrilously funny. Having said that I could understand that it might be a frustration for others, as unfamiliar dialect often is for me.
In other areas; the story isn’t the strongest part of the book but the prose is. It is dense, layered and often brutally beautiful. The setting is also richly evoked, being a bohemian flavour of grimy that evokes an X-rated West Side Story.
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