February Books 2) Crowe’s Requiem, by Mike McCormack

A short fantasy novel, which has been on my list of sf and fantasy set in Ireland for a while. Crowe is drawn partly from Oskar in Die Blechtrommel, in that he has a biologically unusual childhood and adolescence, and then like Stephen Dedalus he heads off to university in Dublin. Though in fact his experience is closer to that of the unnamed protagonist of At Swim-Two-Birds, with some turns of phrase particulalry in the first half of the book sounding very Flann O'Brien-ish. Crowe goes through sinister medical experiences and emotional trauma with his lover, and does not get a happy ending; and we wonder a little how reliable a narrator he has been. I felt a little let down by the ending, but most of the book was very good, and I am surprised not to have heard more about it.

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