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Custom House
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.0 X 0.8 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author

Michael Hughes, after working in radio and television (as an announcer, cameraman, and floor director), started a corporate audio visual business that specializes in training and marketing videos for businesses. His clients include the governments of Canada and British Columbia, B.C.'s telephone company, the natural gas company, several sawmills, and many other companies both large and small. He does most of the technical work himself, hiring crew as needed. He became the teaching assistant for his father's "Introduction to Filmmaking" course in 1972 (16mm film). After two semesters, Mike took over the course and has been teaching filmmaking ever since - as well as continuing his corporate video company.


"A propulsive, blood-flecked homage to the 'Iliad' told against the backdrop of a fragile truce in 1996...Hughes's story proceeds at a breakneck cinematic pace."--New York Times Book Review
"A lively, convincing demotic that captures an Irish idiomatic flow and an echo of Homer's formalities and hexametric lines. It begs to be read aloud."--The Times (UK)
"The language is enough to keep you enthralled . . . a violent pounding demotic as memorable in its way as Homer's hexameter."--The Guardian
"A bold, imaginative second novel"--The Spectator
"Energetic . . . an ingenious refitting that illuminates both conflicts."--Guardian, Books of the Year 2018
"Country explodes with verbal invention, rapid juxtaposition, brutality and fun . . . Hughes's linguistic dexterity, his ear for dialogue, his understanding of character, the energy of his prose."--Times Literary Supplement (London)
"Reading this book is like sitting in the pub listening to a good friend tell you stories. It does what only the best retellings can and makes you see the myth anew."--Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under
"This is a hard, rigorous and necessary book which grinds out its beauty as the song cycles of empire and resistance fall silent, choked in their own blood."--Irish Times
"A brutal and gripping thriller in its own right . . . a consistently engrossing read, written in Ulster-flavoured prose as rich and evocative as you would expect from a professional thespian."--Irish Independent
"Consistently thrilling . . . By enlisting the visceral power of The Iliad to illustrate the violence of the Troubles . . . Hughes has written a striking, memorable book."--Literary Review
"Prose that crackles with the vernacular of hard men, yet remains compulsively readable throughout . . . a classic story, and a gritty contemporary thriller, this book is an extraordinary achievement."--Stuart Neville, author of The Ghosts of Belfast
"Hughes's clever conceit in this dark take on political violence--the Irish author's American debut--is to transport The Iliad from ancient Troy to Northern Ireland in the mid-'90s, during a cease-fire between the IRA and the British... A canny update of one of the world's oldest stories."--Publishers Weekly
"Gives new context to the fatal forces that drive Homer's epic: loyalty, machismo, and entitlement to women... stellar writing... well worth reading."--Booklist
"A story of violence and betrayal so urgent that you may miss your subway stop reading it... The voltage in this book comes from all the way from prehistory and it sparks to life again in Hughes's gifted hands... he has something world-shaking to say and he has found the perfect medium through which to say it."--Irish Central