The sea is slowly eating into the land and the hill with the old watchtower has completely disappeared. The nearest house has crumbled and fallen into the sea. It is Ireland in the late twentieth century. Eamon Redmond is a judge in the Irish High Court. Obsessed all his life by the letter and spirit of the law, he is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Colm Toibin reconstructs the history of Eamon's relationships-- with his father, his first "girl," his wife, and the children who barely know him. He gives us a family as minutely realized as any of John McGahern's, and he writes about Eamon's affection for the landscape of his childhood on the east coast of Ireland with such skill that the land itself becomes a character. The result is a novel that ensnares us with its emotional intensity and dazzles with its crystalline prose. In The Heather Blazing, Colm Toibin displays once again the gifts that illuminated The South, a book described by Don DeLillo as "a grand achievement," and by John Banville as "a daring imaginative feat...a splendid first novel."
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by Colm Toibin
by William Trevor
by Pierce Brown
by Stephen R. Donaldson
by John Connolly
by Mike McCormack
by Mark Lawrence
by Tana French
by Michael J. Sullivan
"Colm Toibin's second novel has myriad echoes--those relating to Irish history and those within the life of protagonist Eamon Redmond. In keeping with Redmond's emotional distance, narrator Tim Reynolds underplays the quiet drama and mostly relies on the text to tell us who is speaking. His vocal characterizations are subtle but sufficient. The most evocative writing is about the landscape, seascape, and weather, and Reynolds draws us into those. The descriptions of the Irish coast are reminiscent of those in John Banville's THE SEA. This is a fine reading of a fine book. D.M.H. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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