Arimathea Paperback – 2 Sep 2013
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The great spirit of Frank McGuinness radiates in this magnificent novel. Myriad voices converge on one glistening core; it is a high-wire act earthed in the deepest humanity.(Sebastian Barry)
A work of passion and truth, in which imaginative daring is matched by deep psychological insight.(Declan Kiberd)
Poetic and strange, elemental and truly original, Arimathea engages fearlessly with the mysteries of art and love.(Deirdre Madden)
About the Author
Frank McGuinness is Professor of Creative Writing in University College Dublin. A world-renowned playwright, his first great stage hit was the highly acclaimed Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. This is his first novel, a major event.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good read with local knowledge and feel for the location.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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.Published on 19 Jun. 2014 by Alexandra Coughlan