Long Time, No See

Dermot Healy. Viking, $27.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-670-02360-8
Healy (A Goat’s Song) writes early on in his latest novel, “It’s extraordinary how ordinary life is,” and spends the remainder of the story exploring the mundane. Philip Feeney (aka Mister Psyche) is fresh out of secondary school, living with his parents and doing odd jobs for neighbors in the small coastal town of Ballintra, in modern-day Ireland. His primary task is taking care of his grand-uncle Joejoe and Joejoe’s friend, the Blackbird. The elderly duo provide mild entertainment, and Healy details Philip’s tasks perhaps too diligently, as the reader is often left feeling as if they’ve spent time doing chores rather than reading a book. Revolving around the main trio, tangential characters come and go, and Philip either amuses or aids them in a series of exploits, making the book reminiscent of Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat. As Joejoe and the Blackbird begin to deteriorate with age, the story comes into focus, albeit quite late. Highly stylized, chock-full of colorful dialogue, and steeped in Irish idioms, this is a leisurely read about ordinary folk acting out the dramas that make a life. (July 5)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 07/05/2012
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-101-58336-4
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-101-58366-1
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-571-21079-4
Paperback - 438 pages - 978-0-571-21074-9
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-571-27606-6
Paperback - 438 pages - 978-0-14-312343-9
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