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10
3.7 out of 5 stars
Arimathea
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2013
I couldn't disagree with previous reviewer more. I really enjoyed this novel, so I just had to write a review which gives an alternative point of view.

When I read this I felt immediately immersed in the Donegal of 60 years ago. The book was written by an established Irish playwright and this shows in the poetic, yet realistic and at times very witty dialogue. For me they characters shone clearly and I certainly had no difficulty in following the story.
The story is told from the point of view of various characters, and gets off to an engaging start as you enter the mind of Euni: a bright, funny, independently minded young girl. The story concerns the impact on her community of an outsider arriving. There is an element of mystery as to what, in his earlier life, has bought Gianni, the Italian painter, to the town. As the novel progresses to disclosing this ,we learn much about the hidden issues amongst the townspeople and are drawn into the lives of the key characters, all of which are beautifully and entertainingly drawn.There were moments in the novel when I laughed out loud and there were moments of real tragedy.

I'd recommend this book if you already know Ireland - you will enjoy the familiar voices; but read it, even if Ireland is unfamiliar, and you want to read a memorable story, beautifully told in the voices of a community. I read this novel a few weeks ago and its story and characters have stayed with me since: in my experience the sign of good novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2013
Up its own arse, I thought. We all know what small town Ireland is like. It aint changed in 50 years or more. As much as I love McGuiness' work, I thought this was an exercise in laziness and money garnering. As he said himself it was the result of researches he did in order to write a play. The effort he put into it reflected the same and I can only think it was his publisher pushed the thing knowing that they were on a good thing with Frank's name on the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2014
I was unsure of this novel after reading other reviewer's opinions but I absolutely loved this book. It falls somewhere between the intriguing Magnus Mills and Flann O'Brien when he is at his least surreal. It changed the way I think of others and view their actions. Very much reccommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
Frank McGuiness was always going to write a great book and now so he has.

The language is true, the characters are true, and where its is funny it is unforgettably funny too, though sharp and lethal as well. Its the sword that tickles.

So one of our best.
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on 1 April 2014
.....and even with the effort I still couldn't bring myself to finish it!
This was hard-going. I'm not a reader who enjoys a deliberately surreal piece of writing and, if I had known that this was from that genre, I would have given it a miss. Everyone in our little book-club, bar one, felt the same way about it as I did. Tedious, over-elaborate, didn't seem to have a point to it ( was it telling us that "we all have a cross to bear"?...who knows?), unappealing characters (with the exception of Malachy).
We went for it because of the writer's reputation but, on this evidence, it feels as if he's "lost it".
I'm glad it's over!
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on 21 April 2014
Loved this book.I felt as if I knew all the characters personally.Enjoyable,entertaining and witty,very Frank Mc Guinness..Would highly recommend this book.
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on 19 June 2014
I really enjoyed the story and the characters who were so innocent and unworldly. The humour was classic and had me laughing out loud at times.
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on 15 July 2014
Good read. Interesting set in Ireland.
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Very good read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2013
Characters in this novel are all over the place. Very difficult to follow. I should know, coming from the town he bases the novel in. Gave the book to my local library. Maybe someone else here will be able to follow this novel. Sorry Frank!
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