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In the first story, "The Use of Reason," a lifelong burglar is nearly brought down by his mother, who talks too much when she drinks in her local pub. In "A Song," Noel, on the town with a group of his musician friends, ends up in the same bar as his estranged mother, who is asked to sing. She sings an Irish ballad about love and treachery and he is convinced that she is singing directly to him. In "A Priest in the Family," Molly's son Frank is accused of abuse, but no one has the courage to tell her until it is almost time for the trial. Her reaction is not entirely predictable. "Three Friends" takes place after a young man attends his mother's funeral. He joins his friends for a night of carousing and drugs ending with a late-night swim, where he is emboldened to make an overt sexual pass at one of his buddies, with interesting results. The final story, "A Long Winter," is set in Spain in a remote village. Miquel's mother drinks. Everyone knows it but Miquel. His father pours out her supply of booze and she leaves the house. So far it's a simple story. It doesn't stay that way. Each of these stories has its own gravitas, its own sadness, and that laser-beam of insight that is Toíbín's trademark. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
His mind is fertile and his style of writing is full of grace and feeling.
As author of five novels (including "The Heather Blazing" and "The Master"), this is his first book of short stories and it continues his theme of alienation.
Most of us liked the sex in "Three Friends," although we were slightly unsure about the ending.
this kindle edition didn't have a story that a reviewer said was in it, which was whole reason I ordered it as a kindle. So I was disappointed about that. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sheila B
good writer---some stories in this collection of short stories were interesting and some odd---the authors gayness comes out in creepy ways.Published 10 months ago by James H. Schultz
Just did not find the first two short stories fabulous. I have sons and know my relationship with each of my sons; different with each one. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ellie
this book of short stories by Colm Toibin is a good one. Toibin writes without wasting a word, he writes about Ireland and not the rich ones, usually, and their struggles to... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Renato Baserga
I felt that there needed to be more analysis. We need to understand how much of the person's feelings is affected by their culture and even by the therapist. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Roger Joss
Fascinating book of short stories. There are certainly mothers and sons in each story, however in some of them, I haven't found the connection. Read morePublished 17 months ago by tolartart
Despite the fact that I have not yet read all the stories, I know this book is by a very good writer and I have also been able to look up his name and learn how to pronounce it, I... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lorraine Collins
It does not really matter how much truth there is to these stories. They make excellent reading, no matter what!Published 21 months ago by Marcy J Brenner