That Old Country Music: Stories


Product Details

$23.95  $22.27
Doubleday Books
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

KEVIN BARRY is the author of the novels Night Boat to Tangier, Beatlebone, and City of Bohane and the story collections Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. His awards include the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. His stories and essays appear in the New Yorker, Granta and elsewhere. He also works as a playwright and screenwriter, and he lives in County Sligo, Ireland.


I had to quit reading this book the first day I had it in my hands, just so I could have it to read the next day. It's that good.
--Richard Ford

Kevin Barry's new collection of melodic and melancholy short stories, set against the harsh, majestic landscape of the Irish countryside, conjures a dark and richly textured world haunted by history. Read slowly and savor.

There are no bad Kevin Barry books. There are no sedate Kevin Barry books. Every darkly-soulful tragicomedy he produces--be it a novel or a short story collection--is a wild, electrified beast of language that throws you up on its back as it dances with manic glee around the lonesome, haunted west of Ireland landscape...The stories in That Old Country Music have all the hypnotic pathos and inimitable linguistic verve of Barry at his very best.

"Barry has the right stuff for short stories. He brings characters to life quickly and then blesses them with his uncanny ear for dialogue and prose rhythms, his compassion and wry wit...Exceptional writing and a thoroughly entertaining collection."
--Kirkus (starred review)

The multi-award-winning Barry (Night Boat to Tangier) dazzles with his word wizardry and the effortless grace of his perfect sentences."
--Library Journal

The master short story teller turns messy emotions into riveting tales of wounded Irish folk...One of the best collections you'll read this year.
Sunday Times (UK)

Wild, witty stories...The west of Ireland teems with canny characters and vivid language...Darkly glimmering...Their language is exhilarating, its verve evoking the very best of Barry's compatriots while further carving out a territory that's all his own.
Observer (UK)

Barry often writes with sonorous wisdom...but as readers of his grimly hilarious novels will know, his language is just as precise when it is in the service of comedy...Exhilaratingly funny and poignant fables.
Sunday Telegraph (UK)

These playful, serious and beautifully crafted stories allow Barry to experiment as we need great writers to do.
Irish Times

An extraordinary writer . . . In his short stories Barry seems most fully and brilliantly himself. . . . So rich and so flawlessly crafted―its best stories feel instantly canonical, as if we've already been reading them for years . . . The opening story is letter-perfect from its first line . . . Funny, moving, built with superior economy, this is the real thing . . . Barry remains the great romantic of contemporary Irish fiction. Like all of the most interesting artists, he gets better with every risk he takes. The courage may be his. But the rewards are all ours.
Irish Independent