15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Moving and evocative,
This review is from: The Cold Eye of Heaven (Hardcover)This is a very poignant story of a man's life, told backwards in snapshots each a decade apart, starting at a point where he has collapsed on his bathroom floor as an old man living alone. It is an effective reminder of how every buy or eventful life ends the same way in the end and how everyone has a 'backstory', no matter how humble or seemingly ordinary. We live our lives and all we are left with is our memories. The ending of the book is particularly poignant as his life is boiled down to its beginning and ending - the innocence of a child and the vulnerability of an old man. Everything else in between is just a series of events. What was important, or maybe unimportant, was simply that he lived and loved and lost, he came and he will go.
Though we only really get to know the characters, including the protaganist when it comes down to it, through fleeting glimpses of their lives the book is still very moving. The writing is beautiful; full of character, razor-sharp observation and gentle wit with an authentic Dublin voice. The depiction of Dublin through the years from the 1940s to the present is extremely vivid and interesting too.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It made me sad but also nostalgic and made me reflect on mortality too, both my own and that of my loved ones - something worth doing from time to time even if it is not always easy. The fact of mortality may be cold but perhaps life itself is a kind of heaven. Overall, a gentle and well-written book that I defy anyone not to be touched by.