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The Spinning Heart Hardcover – June 27, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday Ireland (June 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781620067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781620069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is a contemporary story with believable characters adn was very well written.
Angela Savage
I really enjoyed this book - the tone is true and the characters really well formed - thoughtfully written but a really easy enjoyable read as well.
rebecca walker
Just read it in a 'real' book - it was wonderful, would give it 5 stars if reviewing for Kindle.
Carl Lusby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lucinda on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am so impressed by this remarkable, astonishing novel that touches your heart with its deep meaning and evocative, truth-drawing clarity. Donal Ryan's accomplished writing is stunningly beautiful, as he incorporates a perfectly harmonized balance of compelling narrative, acutely graphic realism and detailed description. This character-driven study of Ireland's history and spirit is exquisite, capturing the essence of the rural remoteness of the picturesque landscape and the deep-rooted culture embedded into the foundations of the earth. Cleverly crafted, the poignancy within is authentic and indisputably one can sense those feelings of the people who have endured such conflict, danger and economic destruction. This haunting, absorbing read exudes such simplicity, as you grasp the full meaning of every single word that conveys so much, by providing such a real perspective and insight. Entrenched rage and heated passion amidst echoes of voices of time past, is encapsulated accurately within arresting prose that is perfection itself.

I envisage `The Spinning Heart' as this year's Bestseller, for it was unexpectedly surprising and magnificent

*I would like to take this opportunity of thanking `New Books Magazine' for sending me a copy of The Spinning Heart to review for them.*

[...]
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Format: Hardcover
"My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down."

This novel was the most surprising one to be chosen for this year's Booker Prize longlist, as it was rejected by 47 publishers before Doubleday Ireland decided to accept it. It is set in a rural Irish town during the financial crisis of the last decade, after the local building firm has gone under. The book is divided into short chapters, each narrated by a person in the book that is linked to all of the others. The main character is Bobby Mahon, a handsome young married man who is embittered by the recent loss of his job at the building firm and by the knowledge that his boss, Pokey Burke, has cheated him and his work mates out of their pensions. He also has a difficult relationship with his father, a widowed old drunkard who wasted away the family's savings and seems to hang on to life to spite his son, who will inherit the cottage once his father dies. Bobby's loathing for his father is strong enough that he often thinks about killing him, to gain the property and to be rid of his presence forever.

Through the accounts of the other characters the main theme of the novel comes into focus, similar to a tapestry created by multiple weavers, and the reader learns how the country's economic collapse has ruined the lives and dreams of those who live there. Multiple story lines surround the tragic central one, which ends with a surprising twist.

I found The Spinning Heart to be far less satisfying than most other readers. The characters in this novel are almost all deeply unhappy, bitter, and speak ill about those who are closest to them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr J F Scott on January 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This a good read and the writer tackles a very contemporary subject, the collapse of the Irish economy. He sets his novel in the county of Tipperary and as I'm from Tipperary I can say that he has got the speech patterns of the people from that area spot on. The novel moves swiftly and is peoples with interesting characters. Each chapter is quite short so you can read a chapter at one reading. I recommend it highly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JOHN on February 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this wonderfully written novel in two days - I could barely put it down. It is a sad and poignant story of life in post-Celtic Tiger, recessionary rural Ireland and anyone familiar with it will recognize the people through whose thoughts the novel is narrated. Some of the references may puzzle non-Irish readers and the writing is done in the way the characters speak e.g. "Bobby was always fair sound to me. He's the only one who never slagged me." And there is plenty of grammatically incorrect talk such as "I seen, I done" etc.,but that is necessary for authenticity and the author has captured the individuals' voices perfectly. As sad as the story is, it is also very compassionate in that we get to hear the innermost thoughts of the characters some of whom are regarded as outcasts and weirdos by the locals but who are, in their isolation, possessed of the same essential humanity as the rest of us and who like us all are seeking some kind of redemption.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By teenlib on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An impressive novel, impressive because it is written in many different voices, but each is convincing and immediately accessible. In parts tender, amusing and horrific. The story unfolds through the different narrators, which might seem tricky reading, but in reality flows naturally. These are voices you hear around you every day. Captures the current feeling in Ireland so well, and puts it in a fictional setting, which is only a few shades from reality.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anton Quill on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
From the opening chapter to the last word this is possibly the finest and most poignant book that I have read in a very long time.Every character is believeable and they are people that we all know and meet in our daily lives.A stunning first effort.
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