There are Little Kingdoms

There are Little Kingdoms⚡ There are Little Kingdoms Books ✪ Author Kevin Barry – Bluevapours.co.uk Kevin Barry received widespread critical acclaim and the Rooney prize for Irish Literature following the publication of this first book of stories in His stories have since appeared in The New Yorker Kevin Barry received widespread critical acclaim and the Rooney prize for Irish Literature following the publication of this first book of stories inHis stories have since appeared in The New Yorker and in the Granta Book of the Irish Short Story His debut novel, City Of Bohane, was published by Jonathan Cape in AprilCould easily have been titled These Are Little Masterpieces Barry gathers all the bewildered exasperation that Irish playwrights from Tom Murphy to Marina Carr and Enda Walsh have identified, and brings it, most brilliantly, to his dark, blackly hilarious and horrifically realistic narratives There are Epub / Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times.

Kevin Barry is an Irish writer He is the author of two collections of short stories, and the novel City of Bohane, which was the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

There are Little Kingdoms eBook ´ There are  Epub /
  • Paperback
  • 154 pages
  • There are Little Kingdoms
  • Kevin Barry
  • English
  • 24 September 2019
  • 0955015294

10 thoughts on “There are Little Kingdoms

  1. Peter Boyle says:

    This is where it all began for Kevin Barry, a blistering short story collection that announced the arrival of a major literary talent There are Little Kingdoms was first published in 2007 and I can only imagine the excitement it caused on the Irish scene.Barry s trademark humour is already on display here and the antics of these characters often made me laugh out loud To The Hills is a hilarious account of a love triangle that arises between three middle aged hill walkers, each desperate for a This is where it all began for Kevin Barry, a blistering short story collection that announced the arrival of a major literary talent There are Little Kingdoms was first published in 2007 and I can only imagine the excitement it caused on the Irish scene.Barry s trademark humour is already on display here and the antics of these characters often made me laugh out loud To The Hills is a hilarious account of a love triangle that arises between three middle aged hill walkers, each desperate for a night of romance Animal Needs follows the trials and tribulations of a lustful chicken farmer, whose extra marital affairs threaten his wellbeing as he prepares for a vital farm inspection But there is also an underlying melancholy to many of these tales, hints of guilt at past misdeeds and regret at lives unlived You get the impression that some of the characters are only smiling to keep a dangerous sadness at bay.It s rare that I love every single entry in a book of short stories, and a couple of these didn t really work for me, such as the enigmatic title tale But on the whole it s a hugely entertaining affair full of wit, flair and unbridled imagination Barry has been described as the best Irish short story writer of his generation and on this evidence, I find it hard to disagree.Some of my favourite passagesMeadowsweet Farm is perhaps not the place you have prepared for There is no waft of harvest to perfume the air There is no contented lowing from the fields These are not happy acres Meadowsweet Farm is put together out of breeze blocks, barbed wire and galvanised tin The land is flat and featureless There are sawn off barrels filled with rancid rainwater A snapped cable cracks like a whip and lifts sparks from a dismal concrete yard the electrics are haywire The septic tank is backed up The poultry shed is the secret torture facility of a Third World regime, long rumoured by shivering peasants in the mountain night Desperation reigns, and we hear it as a croaky bayou howl There is a general sensation of slurry Two words were enough to give it away as a Clare accent, far and somehow accusatory, an accent he didn t approve of, normally, but she was good looking enough to get away with it His accent was from further north, and a shade east, pure Roscommon It was designed for roaring over chainsaws and horsing out ballads to the fallen martyrs of Irish republicanism but he had honed it, somehow, to a hoarse sounding, late night cool Mr Kelliher attended to the stout Each fresh glass he filled two sevenths shy of the brim, with the glass delicately inclined towards the pourer s breast, so as the stout would not injure itself with a sheer fall, and he set them then, and there was the rush and mingle of brown and cream notes, and the blackness rising, a magic show you would never tire of We nodded, the three men, sombre as owls We nodded as though the cruel variables of love were hardly news to us We nodded as though we d each known heartbreak and the ache of a lost love, as though we d each walked the Castle Walk, at four in the morning in cold rain, with the collars turned up against a lonely wind Oh what we wouldn t have given for broken hearts

  2. Stef Smulders says:

    These stories are little artworks You need to read them slowly, closely, as the author has chosen his words very precisely It is not the action that drives the narrative, but the descriptions Atlantic City is a kind of example of what life in a small countryside village is like for its youth, and also how it will develop, generation after generation without fundamental change Well told, with some flashes of genius, for example when the girls enter the boys arcade They had vinegar in the These stories are little artworks You need to read them slowly, closely, as the author has chosen his words very precisely It is not the action that drives the narrative, but the descriptions Atlantic City is a kind of example of what life in a small countryside village is like for its youth, and also how it will develop, generation after generation without fundamental change Well told, with some flashes of genius, for example when the girls enter the boys arcade They had vinegar in them and they roved their dangerous eyes around the habituees and they were a carnival of cheap perfume on young skinBut James, the leader of the pack, has the better of them His hungry gaze asked severe questions of their confidence until later on Though the girls had become shyer, shyness can fold in on itself and be transformed on a summer night when there is possibility in the air, shyness can say what the hell and trade itself for a brazenness To the hills is a story of inevitable loneliness at middle age, when this has even seemed to become preferable to a relation It is the fate of certain peoples lives Unforgettable are the lines the slow hours of the afternoon yawned and presented themselves with a certain belligerence Those who go mad go mad first in the afternoons And how about the humor in naming the guesthouse the St Ignatius of Loyola BB See The Tree is a bit weird, as it remains unsaid what happened to the main character before he lost all memories There are some hints, that s all Meaning of the title Amusing story nonetheless Animal Needs is the opposite, elaborate and explicit, with the exception of the daughter maybe who only makes an appearance in the last paragraph Magnificent description of the desolation of Trump country life, where even gods get depressed There are crisis levels of debt There is alcoholism and garrulousness and depressive ideation There is the great disease of familiarity These are long, bruised days on the midland plain People wake in the night and shout out names they have never known There is addiction to prescription medications and catalogue shopping Boys with pesticide eyes pull handbrake turns at four in the morning and scream the names of dark angels Everybody is fucking everybody else Last Days of the Buffalo is a short sketch of another soul lost in life it happens sometimes is that pain becomes a feed for courage, a nutrient for it when pain drips steadily, it can embolden The main character has a trait in common with some of the ones of the other stories he needs routine to stay mentally sane He has before him the consolations of routine Ideal Homes is a funny story about two rebellious female adolescents in yet another deadly boring village The blind shopkeeper who needs the client to tell him what they chose to buy is as close the village got to an attraction The girls steal from the shopkeeper of course and roam around the village to annoy as many people as they can The Wintersongs observes the non reaction of a young girl to a chatty half mad lady seated opposite of her in the train As in an earlier story the daughter in Animal Needs the main character is the one that does not say a word The author concludes with regret that She doesn t know that every step from now on will change her She is so open, so fluid Every conversation will change her, every chance meeting, every walk down the street Party at Helen s is a kind of relay in which the story is taken over by a new character all youngsters if he or she meets the current narrator at the party where the story is located This presents Barry to display one of his major skills very concise character description She was born to middle age, and a lascivous one all solace was in the senses She was intuitive she had an idea of the vast adult dullness that loomed around the next turn Breakfast Wine is my favourite It is only a description of a bar scene but done with exquisite detail Every word in this story is right on the dot The clock considered twelve and passed it by with a soft shudder, as though it had been a close call the dread of the morning had lifted, we passed the hour of remorse, and we marched to the mellow afternoon the days were slow in The Northern Star, and the nights were only trotting after them We nodded, the three men, sombre as owls We nodded as though the cruel variables of love were hardly news to us Oh what we wouldn t have given for broken hearts This story is a real gem of the genre Burn the bad lamp is again about a desillusioned midle aged man with psychological problems He is constant on the alert for dangerous mood swings which he tries to check with tried homemade simple methods He knows that perceived slights is one of the key danger signs Surprisingly enough, the story develops in a kind of fairytale, unlike all the other stories.The title story starts off with a magnificent first paragraph just read it The narrator has a range of surreal experiences and it is left to the reader to judge what causes them Psychological conditions, drugs, drinking Nights at the Gin Palace is a rather hilarious story about an old resigned father and a manic, hysterical daughter who has failed in everything she has tried in life Now she wants to start a hotel She had some handsomeness still but it was turning into something else She had moved from city to city, and from town to town, propelled by a talent for hopeless optimism The Penguins is hilarious as well, relating the survival of airplane passengers that landed in uninhabited territory My husband is like on of those second hand books you buy that s got all the wrong bits underlined The funny thing is that a few of the passengers are characters from the earlier stories

  3. Hugh says:

    Barry s 2007 debut collection shows that his talent and creativity were there from the start Many of these stories mix the banal and the slightly surreal, they are always engaging and at times elliptical All very enjoyable.

  4. Lee says:

    4.5 Some of the stories See The Tree, How Big It s Grown is maybe the best are mini masterpieces of bleak, maundering wit Martin McDonagh would surely approve.

  5. M. Sarki says:

    This title came to me heavily amped by Gordon Lish He had instructed me to read a short story placed by Kevin Barry in a recent New Yorker magazine, which I did, and which I thought was OK, but nothing that would make me want to read an entire book of these short fictions But I bought the book anyway, and I also bought the one novel he wrote just in case Mr Lish was on to something the rest of the world would one day climb aboard on too and I could make a buck or two on selling a first printi This title came to me heavily amped by Gordon Lish He had instructed me to read a short story placed by Kevin Barry in a recent New Yorker magazine, which I did, and which I thought was OK, but nothing that would make me want to read an entire book of these short fictions But I bought the book anyway, and I also bought the one novel he wrote just in case Mr Lish was on to something the rest of the world would one day climb aboard on too and I could make a buck or two on selling a first printing Lately I have been reading so many good books and having a rather lot of fun doing so But I took a quick peek at the first story Atlantic City and was wowed by its language and dialogue If the rest of the book were to continue on at this level of quality I would have been so amazed But it is easy to bet that I wasn t Hard for an entire book of short stories to flat knock me out unless the writer s name is Raymond Carver.However, the first two stories are worth putting the cash down for the purchase of the entire book The character James in Atlantic City will stay with you for a very long time At least he is still with me weeks after the fact Brilliant piece Pinball wizard who talks personality, walks personality Big fellow A character unlike any you have ever met The language and story in the second offering In the Hills is also done nicely and is basically about a boy hiking a bit with two quite different girls, staying overnight in a BB before heading back down, and the choices offered when it came time for a possible pairing up for that evening But looking back even now I would say that even that story wasn t so hot The first one is, however One of the best tales I have read in some time Atlantic City I say find the story somewhere online and just skip buying the book That is my thoughtful advice As a whole, THERE ARE LITTLE KINGDOMS is not what is has been cracked up to be It is proof that Gordon and I don t always agree, but still our relationship endures

  6. Dan says:

    Kevin Barry must love the sound of the spoken word, and the thirteen short stories in his There Are Little Kingdoms read as if Barry intended them to be read aloud Barry writes beautifully rich English, redolent with character and accent and localisms Listen, she said I have news for you Brace yourself, child, cause here it comes There is no such thing as forgiveness Everything has a consequence Would you believe that Years later, you ll still have to answer the question was the rightKevin Barry must love the sound of the spoken word, and the thirteen short stories in his There Are Little Kingdoms read as if Barry intended them to be read aloud Barry writes beautifully rich English, redolent with character and accent and localisms Listen, she said I have news for you Brace yourself, child, cause here it comes There is no such thing as forgiveness Everything has a consequence Would you believe that Years later, you ll still have to answer the question was the right thing donep 80I descended the ladder to an autumn garden Russets and golds and a bled, cool sky turtleneck weather My favourite time, the season of loss and devotionp 128 Although I was entranced by his Dublin Literary Award winning City of Bohane, I prefer his fiction that sticks to the here and now Of course in Barry s fiction, the here and now sometimes wanders forward and backwards into the then and there, between the world as those with earthbound imaginations experience it and the world as those withexpansive imaginations experience it There Are Little Kingdoms includes some stunners Atlantic City , To the Hills , See the Tree, How Big It s Grown , Animal Needs , Last Days of the Buffalo , The Wintersongs , Breakfast Wine , Nights At the Gin Palace A few disappointed, but not many All in all, a wonderful collection 4.5 stars

  7. Alan says:

    lovely book of stories, almost sketches really and some may find their thirst for plot and closure and such like unquenched I m not bothered by all that, I just enjoyed the character studies, the drinking, the folly, the hard won resignation, the thwarted sexual desires Just like real life More later and some quotes I know I m falling behind on my reviews I will catch up here s a bitIt is set mostly in small town Ireland Galway is mentioned in one , but there are a couple lovely book of stories, almost sketches really and some may find their thirst for plot and closure and such like unquenched I m not bothered by all that, I just enjoyed the character studies, the drinking, the folly, the hard won resignation, the thwarted sexual desires Just like real life More later and some quotes I know I m falling behind on my reviews I will catch up here s a bitIt is set mostly in small town Ireland Galway is mentioned in one , but there are a couple at the end not one set in Cumbria, another on an ice floe where passengers from a plane that has a forced landing have to line up But mostly they concern farmers, or farm labourers and not prosperous farmersMeadowsweet Farm is put together out of breeze blocks, barbed wire and galvanised tin The land is flat and featureless There are sawn off barrels with rancid rainwater A snapped cable cracks like a whip and lifts sparks from a dismal concrete yard the electrics are haywire The septic tank is backed up. There is a general sensation of slurry , pub workers, dreamers, students, losers Everybody s had disappointment They are mostly realistic but one of the stories features a cynical genie and another someone who can tell futures from touching palms Somehow these excursions beyond the real only serve to make the people and their fategrim, not less Often there is a glimpse of what could be the glamorous woman who stops off in the delapidated pub who seemingly appreciates the slow afternoon of drinking, and the woman in England who proposes to turn the ramshackle family home into a mini hotel and has invited a TV makeover programme to come and film it, much to the disappointment of her resigned father Wifeless ten years, at large in the ancient house, prey to odd shudders in the small hours, Freddie Bliss hador less given up on the idea of sleep Subsequently he had gone a little daft You soon realise that the makeover may not go as smoothly as planned Good stuff, I m going to look out for his novel now

  8. Zak says:

    This collection of short stories by Irish writer Kevin Barry was a pleasure to read The writing has a kind of magnetism and dry humour that kept me effortlessly interested but thinking back, I can t recollectthan a handful of stories that were memorable At the beginning, I was sure I had latched on to a 4 5 star book, but as it progressed, the stories themselves became less and less remarkable However, it did end with a good one and overall, the reading experience itself was an enjoyab This collection of short stories by Irish writer Kevin Barry was a pleasure to read The writing has a kind of magnetism and dry humour that kept me effortlessly interested but thinking back, I can t recollectthan a handful of stories that were memorable At the beginning, I was sure I had latched on to a 4 5 star book, but as it progressed, the stories themselves became less and less remarkable However, it did end with a good one and overall, the reading experience itself was an enjoyable journey Final rating 3.75

  9. EP says:

    This is my review for The Short Review Reading Kevin Barry s collection is like finding a shiny two pound coin in a pile of muck It brings unexpected pleasure Not just because he gives you priceless glimpses into the lives of individuals in a small Irish setting, but also because it s one of these collections you literally cannot finish in one sitting It sent me into spirals of associations, memories, and universal contemplations Double takes of pure aesthetic admiration of prose And bleat This is my review for The Short Review Reading Kevin Barry s collection is like finding a shiny two pound coin in a pile of muck It brings unexpected pleasure Not just because he gives you priceless glimpses into the lives of individuals in a small Irish setting, but also because it s one of these collections you literally cannot finish in one sitting It sent me into spirals of associations, memories, and universal contemplations Double takes of pure aesthetic admiration of prose And bleats of laughter at the scrapes his characters get into here, I m specifically referring to Animal Needs, where one lust soaked farmer winds himself deeper and deeper into a fandango an erotic dance with wife swapping neighbors.The characters in Barry s collection comprise, inter alia, a young buckaroo at the top of his billiard game, two fast girls looking for trouble, a lonesome hillwalker, an amnesiac, a genie with wry humor, a gigantic taxi driver, an antique collector, a contemptuous air steward.Rendered in lilting Irish brogue, what struck me is how often these characters are on aimless journeys, destinations unclear The amnesiac who finds ownership documents in his duffel bag for a chip shop, surprises himself with his own porn collection See the Tree, How Big It s Grown The incessantly talkative old biddy The Wintersongs riding a bus gives us a glimpse of her young fellow passenger at the crossroads of abandoning an old life and seeking a new one Even the four corners of a felt lined billiard table become a metaphor for trippyness, a purposeless ride of sorts, until the bright young star himself is vanquished in death.Onething Barry s power of description is awe inspiring Nothing soporific about it It s not sentimental, but it contains lushness It makes you believe there are little kingdoms invisible to the eye And Broad Street was on fire The last of the evening gave out in a show of dying golds and reds The street lamps came on The blue flicker of television screens could be seen behind terraced windows The summer night announced itself, with its own starlit energies It brought temptation, yearning and ache, because these are the summer things Atlantic City If there s anything to fault, it s the light plotting hand Barry wields often, these stories feel like character sketches it leaves one craving I would have liked to stay longer with any of them Party at Helen s actually reads like a series of shifting character point of views and tantalizing profiling The last couple of stories in the collection are also weaker by comparison the title story itself, There Are Little Kingdoms, is a dip into an unstable wino s mind But that s all there is and I can t help wishing for .Even so, this will be a rewarding read for the prose aesthete, for those who admire robust narrative voices, and for the enthusiast of the common and the strange

  10. Sheena Lambert says:

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough It will be on my currently reading list indefinitely I have read it all, but I intend re reading it on a regular basis over the summer If you found City of Bohane a little tough going, but enjoy Kevin Barry s style of writing, you will LOVE this book Anyone with an interest in writing short stories should regard this book as a sort of textbook Bible.

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