Lost Souls Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003
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Collins is a considerable stylist . . . his prose has a thoughtful, sinewy quality, a kind of subliminal toughness of mind (TELEGRAPH)
A style so arrestingly visual it hijacks the reader's concentration; dazzling with the energy and originality of the language (INDEPENDENT)
[Collins] is a stylist, blessed with the gift of having something worth saying (SCOTSMAN)
One of the most exciting talents to have emerged not only in Ireland but anywhere in recent decades (Susan Hill THE TIMES)
His finest book and most credible character to date . . .An engrossing thriller with a social conscience, and a spell-binding portrait of a community under pressure, LOST SOULS is as close to perfection as a tale of flaws, foibles and failure can hope to come (IRISH INDEPENDENT)
A sharp and stylish read (SUNDAY INDEPENDENT)
It is, above all, American in syntax and rhythm and for an outsider like Collins, albeit one who has lived there for a long time, that is a great achievement... His mastery of style, moment and place, gives it a curious vitality which is thoroughly compelling. (JAY RAYNER OBSERVER)
On occasion, his writing blends the commonplace and the uncanny in a manner reminiscent of the films of David Lynch. The best thing about Lost Souls, however, is the tortured voice of its narrator. (STEPHEN AMIDON SUNDAY TIMES)
The real interest of the book lies... in its dissection of a run-down society.... The novel reads like a report from the front line. It is satisfyingly truthful. Its plain bleak matter-of-fact tone is curiously invigorating. One grows weary after all of those fanciful novelist with a talent for playful invention. It's good to come on one who tells you how it is. Collins is such a writer. (ALLAN MASSIE, THE SCOTSMAN)
The Limerick-born Collins has been described as "the thinking man's John Grisham", but that is less than just. He has a strength and emotional charge that remind you of Patricia Highsmith at her finest. (DAILY MAIL)
What elevates this work beyond the workaday and humdrum thriller is the author's self-conscious knowingness.... Collins brilliantly deploys a cold, precise prose in his descriptions of the theatricalities and absurdities of American life... At the moment it would seem that Michael Collins is one of the chief practitioners within this genre and Lost Souls is a good example of its possibilities. (IRISH TIMES)
"Collins's reputation as one of the finest chroniclers of American life, seen at its darkest and most decayed, is held up admirably by this fine, chilling offering." (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST)
Michael Collins is far more than a thriller writer... He's an astute chronicler of small-town dead-end lives, an Irish emigre whose commentaries on American mores and movtivations put him on the Booker shortlist for 200. (MARY FLANAGAN INDEPENDENT)
An engrossing thriller with a social conscience and a spellbinding portrait of a community under pressure, Lost Souls is as close to perfection as a tale of flaws, foibles and failure can hope to come. (IRISH INDEPENDENT)
Collins, clearly, is keen to create a mood, an atmosphere, a sombre snapshot of a society that has been driven to a dark place by greed and pain. He achieves this, no doubt. (THE GUARDIAN)
Collins has caught the sheer weirdness of small-town America... the story achieves a rich and unexpected pathos. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
A novel of small town intrigue and corruption from the author of THE KEEPERS OF TRUGH and THE RESURRECTIONISTS.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The prose is haunting, capturing the Lost Souls who inhabit this novel, from the divorced cop at the centre of this mystery to a surreal mayor and chief who try to orchestrate a coverup in this small unnamed town.
To speak of plot is to diminish the brilliance and genius of Collins' work in Lost Souls. The connective tissue from scene to scene is peppered with such sociological deftness and believability, that it makes your skin crawl. In an age of the BIG novel of ideas, Collins has mastered the smallness of existence, the day to day essence of how we survive in this day and age.
I was reminded of The Corrections a little, though this is a very different book, but the font of both writers genius is apparent. Collins inhabits the crime genre in a way Chandler inhabited it, bringing a literary sensibility and roundness to his characters. The quote on the jacket says, "A thinking mans John Grisham!" This has nothing to do with Grisham. This is so off. Lost Souls is a hybrid of a literary classic coupled with a Chandleresque nod to suspense and mystery.
As the characters' lives intertwine in an ever-growing circle and the plot twists and turns, I was glad for the short chapters that make it the perfect read on a commute!
On the downside, it seems to round up in a bit of a rush, leaving a few questions unanswered, but still a good read.
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