9780743222952

At Swim, Two Boys

ISBN 10: 0743222954 / 0-7432-2295-4
ISBN 13: 9780743222952
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:

Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916 -- Ireland's brave but fractured revolt against British rule -- At Swim, Two Boys is a tender, tragic love story and a brilliant depiction of people caught in the tide of history. Powerful and artful, and ten years in the writing, it is a masterwork from Jamie O'Neill.

Jim Mack is a naïve young scholar and the son of a foolish, aspiring shopkeeper. Doyler Doyle is the rough-diamond son -- revolutionary and blasphemous -- of Mr. Mack's old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, the two boys make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, on Easter of 1916, they will swim to the distant beacon of Muglins Rock and claim that island for themselves. All the while Mr. Mack, who has grand plans for a corner shop empire, remains unaware of the depth of the boys' burgeoning friendship and of the changing landscape of a nation.


Review:

"[W]hatever else it may be, AT SWIM, TWO BOYS is arguably the most important work of gay male historical fiction since Alan Hollinghurst's THE SWIMMING POOL LIBRARY....From the perspective of today's urban gay enclaves, O'Neill's Dublin radiates a pastoral simplicity: it's a place where untutored people express strong emotions in poetic language uncorroded by irony."

David Halperin, London Review of Books, 05/22/2003

 

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