The Heart in Winter (Hardback)
  • The Heart in Winter (Hardback)
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The Heart in Winter (Hardback)

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Hardback 224 Pages
Published: 06/06/2024
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Waterstones Says

Set in the American West of the 1890s, this expansive yet psychologically intimate novel from the author of Night Boat to Tangier tracks the dangerously forbidden affair between a torrid young balladeer and the wife of a devout and powerful mine captain.

Butte, Montana, October 1891, and a hard winter approaches across the Rocky Mountains. The city is rich on copper mines and rampant with vice and debauchery among a hard-living crowd of immigrant Irish workers.

Here we find Tom Rourke, a young poet and balladmaker of the town, but also a doper, a drinker, and a fearsome degenerate. Just as he feels his life is heading nowhere fast, Polly Gillespie arrives in town as the new bride of the extremely devout mine captain Long Anthony Harrington.

A thunderbolt love affair takes spark between Tom and Polly and they strike out west on a stolen horse, moving through the bad-lands of Montana and Idaho, and briefly an idyll of wild romance perfects itself. But a posse of deranged Cornish gunsmen are soon in hot pursuit of the lovers, and closing in fast.

Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 9781805302117
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 331 g
Dimensions: 222 x 136 x 20 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

An absolute belter of a book - ANNE ENRIGHT

A dazzling tale of lovers on the run in Montana . . . Barry has written us a love story that never seems false or cheap, and an adventure where the violence is never gloating or desensitised. It's a wedding of Cormac McCarthy with Flann O'Brien; a western but also the most Irish of novels; a tragedy written as farce . . . inspiring joy with every incident, every concept, every sentence - Guardian

Kevin Barry lights out for the territory and once again comes back with a shining nugget of gold. The Heart in Winter is a glorious and haunted yarn, with all the elements - the doomed lovers, the bounty hunters, the knife-fights and whisky-soaked songs - brought to mysterious life by the heft and polish of the Barry sentence. Marvellous - JON McGREGOR

A violent, extravagant adventure set in 1890s Montana . . . [Barry's] thrilling best - The Times

A great big rollicking ballad of a novel. A love story, and a slice of history, in a language as close to song as literature will ever get - COLUM McCANN

An atmospheric tale of romantic runaways from an 1890s US mining town that has an epic feel . . . a book where everything springs alive - JOHN SELF, Observer

Holy damn, it's good. Includes (arguably) THE finest American frontier 'shroom scene in the Western canon - DAVID MITCHELL

A glorious book with all the heart and excitement of a classic Western, couched in the mixture of lyrical style and offbeat comedy that has become Barry's trademark - Daily Telegraph

Proof of the author's genius - STUART KELLY, Scotsman

[Barry] is constitutionally incapable of delivering a dull sentence - MARTIN DOYLE, Irish Times

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“Reminds me of Deadwood”

Firstly thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the advance copy of the book. This is my honest opinion.

Although the description from the back of the book sounded really interesting I found the style of... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

“Feverish instant classic”

It took me a good 25-30 pages to sink into the unorthodox, almost otherworldly narrative of “The Heart in Winter.” But how well worth the effort it proved to be. Set against the rugged backdrop of Butte, Montana, in... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5
Richard Hayden in Rye

“Joyful and tragic”

Expressed in a delightfully deceptive mix of poetic prose and sparse punctuation, Barry’s The Heart of Winter is a sad tale of late (too late?) love in the dying days of the American Old West.

Polly Gillespie... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 5

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