The Irish Times and Eason Book Club offer continues for 2013.
You can purchase our selected book each week for €3.99 when you buy a copy of The Irish Times in Eason stores nationwide. This title is available at the offer price for one week only and a new book title will be offered each week.
Click here to find your nearest Eason store
This week's book: Astray by Emma Donoghue
Available from Saturday 25th May - Friday 31st May
There is considerable pressure from the publishing industry for successful prose writers to produce novels, which sell, rather than short stories, which don’t. At least that is the perception. All the more impressive, then, the number of Irish authors, now including Donoghue, who have recently overcome this shibboleth and followed a prize-worthy novel with a collection of stories. Astray is such a volume, and one that is rather swashbuckling.
It travels through centuries, crossing the Atlantic and hopscotching the US-Canadian border. Although most of the stories take place in the New World, it is not Donoghue’s aim to worry cultural distinctions between the latter two countries. Instead she retells curious incidents about displaced people from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Most of these tales are gleaned from 19th-century newspaper reports and letters, the period of peak emigration to North America from Europe....
Readers who discovered Donoghue’s work only with the appearance of the award-winning Room
will be surprised and possibly disappointed by this volume. Others who have followed her career will find another of her brave forays into new genres and forms, which may attract an entirely new readership.Christina Hunt Mahony, The Irish Times
Next week's book:
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
Available from Saturday 1st June - Friday 7th June
There are several reasons why you might pick up this debut novel. First, Liza Klaussmann is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville. Second, the book was the subject of a five-way bidding war and ended up costing Picador the literary equivalent of an arm and a leg: the “six-figure sum”. But the main reason is that it’s terrific. It starts after the second World War and sweeps to the end of the 1960's; it has one of those irresistible cocktails-and-jazz-piano settings that invariably conceal festering family secrets and divided loyalties; it's glamorous, clever, immaculately written....Tigers in Red Weather begins on a golden afternoon in September 1945 with Nick, whose young husband, Hughes, is on his way home from the war in Europe. Impulsive and rebellious, Nick is a consummately seductive narrator. It is not until her daughter, Daisy, takes up the story that, reading, you go: “Oh! No. Really?”
The action mostly takes place in Tiger House, an impossibly idyllic summer residence that, of course, turns out to be just that: impossible. As each new narrator moves into position - and, believe me, they just get better and better - the story of this glittering family takes another turn, revolving slowly but with devastating sureness towards a breathtaking finale. Even to name the narrators would be to give the game away, so I won’t. But if you’re looking for a great summer read, look no further.
Anna Carey, The Irish Times.