cover image Beatlebone


Kevin Barry, read by the author. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-5113-2201-0

Irish novelist Barry puts the striking brogue of his native accent to good use in the audio edition of his new book. The fictional story line, blending real-life events in pop music history with inventive fantasy and psychological introspection, centers on the late rock icon John Lennon’s 1978 visit to the remote island off the western coast of Ireland that he purchased a decade earlier. Barry shines in his vocal renderings of both Lennon and the other principal character, Cornelius O’Grady, a gruff no-nonsense driver for hire who possesses shape-shifting abilities that he displays while leading Lennon on a mystical journey. The secondary characters—an assorted cast of local burned-out hippies and salt-of-the-earth villagers—also shine in Barry’s vocal rendering, and Lennon even befriends a dog that he names after Beach Boy Brian Wilson. But the surreal plot elements are hard to follow in the audio edition, and the street-wise Lennon and his equally colorful companion certainly utter a great deal of harsh language. A Doubleday hardcover. (Nov.)