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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Solar Bones

“ all those human rhythms that bind us together and draw the world into a community, those daily / rites, rhythms and rituals / upholding the world like solar bones, that rarefied amalgam of time and light ”
This book by Irish writer Mike McCormack won the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker. It begins on on All Souls’ Day, 2009 when engineer Marcus Conway hears the ringing of the Angelus bell. It's a rough time for Ireland with the economy in a state of collapse. Against this backdrop Conway ruminates about his family, politics, his work, human nature and life in small-town Ireland. The book is written as one long open-ended sentence and at the start I had to do some googling to make sure my e-book didn't have a glitch. Once that was cleared up I got into the rhythm of Conway's thoughts that flow like a stream across the page. As he sits at his kitchen table waiting for his wife and children to return home he ponders large issues like occupational integrity in a world that seems to be collapsing. Tractor parts, the structure of concrete, sandwiches, agricultural slurry, art trends and his deep love for his wife also enter the monologue. It is a lovely, haunting story of a middle-aged man looking back on his life.

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