- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (6 May 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330321250
- ISBN-13: 978-0330321259
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Heather Blazing Paperback – 6 May 2011
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'The novel is narrated dispassionately and with deceptive simplicity, moving between the public figure of the judge in his study and the terrible deaths of childhood... It is impossible to read Toibin without being moved, touched and finally changed' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘It is impossible to read Tóibín without being moved, touched and finally changed’ Independent on SundaySee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Like so many of Tóibín's books, this is almost entirely a character study with very little in the way of plot. Generally speaking, that doesn't work for me, but Tóibín's deceptively plain prose and in-depth understanding of the people and communities he's writing about exert an almost hypnotic effect on me, drawing me into the lives of the people he offers up for inspection – characters so entirely real and well-drawn that it becomes hard after a time to think of them as in any way fictional. This effect is magnified by his siting of so many of his novels in and around the town of Enniscorthy, where Tóibín himself grew up – a place whose culture and society I have gradually come to feel I understand almost as intimately as my own hometown.
History plays a major role in this book, both personal and political. An only child, Eamon's mother died in childbirth leaving him to be brought up by his father and extended family. His grandfather was involved in the 1916 Easter Rising and his father too played a part, albeit small, in the troubled history of the country.Read more ›
The book is set in three parts, each of which dips in and out of time. We are with Eamon as a child in the small Wexford seaside villages he forever regards as home. Coastal erosion changes them over time and provides, in itself, a metaphor of aging, both of the individual and the community. Eamon's schoolteacher father is a significant figure, both locally as a renowned teacher, and nationally as a result of what he accomplished in his youth in the furtherance of Irish independence and political development. Eamon's mother died when he was young, an act for which, perhaps, he could never forgive her.
We also see Eamon as an adolescent, hormones abuzz, becoming aware of adulthood, a physical, intellectual and, for him, a political transformation. But it is also a time when his father's illness complicates his life. Throughout, we are never sure whether Eamon's perception of such difficulty remains primarily selfish, driven by self-interest. If we are honest, none of us knows how that equation works out.
We are with Eamon when he meets Carmel, his future and only wife. They share a political commitment and a life together. And they have two children. Naimh becomes pregnant at a crucial time. Donal is successful in his own way, but perhaps inherited his father's distance in relationships.
And then there's another time and another Eamon, the professional, the legal Eamon. At first he practices law, but later, at a relatively early age, he accepts a politically-driven appointment to the judiciary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read most of Toibin and like them all but then i have a bias to Irish literature and art. Toibin is avery sensitive writer , gradually filling out the characterisation and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by christopher j murray
I enjoyed the book as with all Colm Tobin books. I am not sure I was left satisfied with the ending.Published 16 months ago by keenze
An Irish High Court judge, nearing retirement, routinely takes family holidays in his childhood home on the Wexford coast, south of Dublin, where the houses and farms slip... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Bobbie
The metre of the narrative was mesmerising and it was sad to say goodbye.
However if you don't enjoy a slow pace or introspection this is not for you.