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This Is The Way Hardcover – 31 Jan 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007475969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007475964
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,263,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A curious and delightful confection … A sly and lovely humour dominates … Anthony Sonaghan and Uncle Arthur will linger a long while with readers … A memorable work from a gifted writer whose next moves we should await with very keen interest’ Kevin Barry, Guardian

‘This fresh and funny novel is a devastating love story – one that comes upon you by stealth and stays with you long after you’ve finished reading’ Claire Lowdon, New Statesman

‘Within a couple of pages, I had fallen into the rhythm of a unique and extraordinary voice.’ Kate Saunders, Daily Mail

‘Corbett creates a memorable voice to explore the power that heritage wields over an outsider struggling to find his place in the world’ Sunday Times

‘It’s a bloody good story’ Spectator

‘The triumph is in the telling. Anthony’s voice, once heard, is hard to forget; its rhythms, its repetitions, its sly humour – all strike the reader as genuinely original. It’s a timely reminder that while fiction may not change things in the real world, it does offer us new ways to dream’ Irish Times

'A troubling, mysterious, demanding and beautiful book, narrated in a voice unlike any I have encountered in fiction. Corbett knows what he's doing: every sentence throbs with power.' Emma Donoghue, author of ‘Room’

‘A writer with the rigorous introspection of James Kelman, mediated by the compassion of Raymond Carver and the visceral imagination of Alan Warner. Yes, and a hearty measure of Flann O'Brien besides. But the hell with the antecedents: the man is an original, with a bridge to the world of first things he's fashioned for himself.’ James Meek, author of ‘The People's Act of Love’

‘A wonderful new voice.’ Joseph O’Neill, author of ‘Netherland’

‘The voice is brilliant. It is tender and true, arcane and elevated. It holds the past and present in a single visionary gaze. This is not only a wonderful book, it is a book about wonders.’ Eoin McNamee, author of ‘Resurrection Man’ and ‘The Blue Tango’

About the Author

Gavin Corbett was born in the west of Ireland and grew up in Dublin, where he studied History at Trinity College. His second novel, ‘This is the Way’, was published in 2013, and was named the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year in 2013. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the story about Irish Travellers and it does not go for the romantic, brawler and tarmac drive angle either - which is refreshing. It is about two feuding families the Gilaroo's and the Sonaghan's. They were originally close, but an ancient misunderstanding has caused them to hate one another. Anthony Sonaghan is though the exception as his father married a Gilaroo and thus he is half of both families. He has been told to hide out in Dublin, where he lies low in a boarding house at the cheaper end of town. Then his uncle Arthur turns up in a bad way after a restorative operation on his thumb.

They recant the story of their families through memories of the past and conversations. They also get involved with some am dram types from the University who see them as `original' etc - almost patronisingly so. Arthur too has fallen for a Gilaroo, whilst his brother and Anthony's father Aubrey has found God. Or rather an alternative Catholic version of God and that led him to take in a Spanish female student. All of the events have an effect on Anthony who is a bit on the naive side - he seems to have a child's outlook on most things, which leads him to make some rash decisions. As the story unfolds we discover why everything is now as it is and get to learn a whole lot about traveller culture into the bargain.

Gavin Corbett is obviously talented but this will not be a book for everyone. I am from an Irish background, though have lived in England my whole life. I do understand a bit more than some about Irish ways and especially the language. This actually helped as a lot of this book is done in reported speech, but with an Irish twist. We get `So I says to him....etc', which took a while to get used to.
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By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The storyline of `This Is The Way' is made up of a number of sub-stories centred on a tribal feud between 2 Irish families - the Sonaghans and the Gillaroos. Narrated by various family members these stories are employed to describe and explain the seeds of the feud, to demonstrate how it continues, and to indicate possible futures. There is a sense of helplessness in the absence of any rational clarification of hostilities and the vendetta continues with much of the narrative appearing as legend or myth. However with degrees of awareness and justification of multi-generational enmity new meaning is exposed on the built-in rivalry of Ireland - and new hope may be possible.

Author Gavin Corbett speaks mainly though Anthony Sonaghan, a somewhat naïve young man, who has a Sonaghan father and Gillaroo mother, together with his father Aubrey and uncle Arthur Sonaghan. After Anthony moves to a building of multiple occupation in Dublin to avoid conflict and lie low he is encouraged to tell stories by a lady he meets in the city library. Other characters exercising influence are Anthony's mother who left his father, his brother who committed suicide, a Spanish girl lodging with his father, and a religious renegade. The story oscillates between the old life of tinkers and travellers and today's altered expectations. Past events and experiences are recalled with flashbacks, there are religious undercurrents, there are transfers of loyalty, and there are attempts at peace-making. With use of Irish vernacular and omission of speech symbols `This Is The Way' is not an easy read but it is worth the effort in terms of appreciation and comprehension of blood ties troubles, but more significantly on the traditions of story-telling and the use of language.
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By Eleanor TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 17 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Anthony is a Sonaghan and, almost since time began, the Sonaghans have been enemies of the Gillaroos. "This is the Way" begins with Anthony settling in an anonymous Dublin boarding house in an attempt to distance himself from the feud which has torn his family apart.

The Sonaghans and the Gillaroos both try to make sense of things through stories and when Anthony comes across an academic who wants to record travellers' stories, he tells us: "I thought like this. I was a well. I thought of stories as the water. If she wants water from the well water will fill in the well. That is what I thought."

"This is the Way" is distinctive for Anthony's voice, as seen in the sentences above. Like another reviewer (who puts it much better than me), I began the book worrying that this would be an example of unconvincing ventriloquism, but I gradually came to appreciate the rounded character that Corbett was presenting. Overall "This is the Way" is a quietly satisfying book which can be relished for its rich myths and back-stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a wonderful and enthralling read. The language twists and turns the reader towards a concentrated attentive fascination with the power of storytelling, its grandeur, its decay. The main characters shine out in the darkness of their tales. A unique and energizing novel of the highest quality.
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Format: Hardcover
'Most the people this country are wrong in their ways I says. Any old person you see, any young person you see, anything they say, anything they have and anything they hold to is wrong.'
The lost Irish Traveller who narrates this book is summarising the views of the university librarian who has taken him up as an echt natural who can tell her stories of the misty boglands before civilisation, stories which occasionally punctuate this rather plotless and despairing novel.
What it does have is an idiosyncratic flat tone capable of poetic and eloquent moments, though not really of humour. It isn't perhaps enjoyable, but it has its rewards if you stick to it in all its oddness.
I wondered if it patronised both the poor pavee and his bohemian librarian, and I decided it does. Is it a prime example of Irish miserabilism? Yes and no. It's a good enough book to make you interested to see what the author will do next.
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