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A Slanting of the Sun: Stories by Donal Ryan
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A Slanting of the Sun: Stories

by Donal Ryan

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Ryan writes these particularly short stories with his usual deftness, setting them very firmly in Ireland with his frequent use of local dialect and the sort of wording that would be used by people who have had a limited education.

They’re almost universally depressing stories – I lost hope of any happier endings about half-way through the book. There’s lots of looking back and regret and none of the hints of optimism found in ‘The Spinning Heart’. ( )
  evening | Aug 23, 2016 |
I’m finding it difficult to decide how many stars I should give to this collection of around twenty bleak and quite short stories, because there was a few that I found that rest too much on a really powerful first-person Irish oral style but lack a bit on the side of plot. But as this was not always the case, some of them did work for me. My standouts include “The Squad” and “A Slanting of the Sun”, and above all the impressive and unforgettable “Long Puck”: a touching story set in Syria about religion and hurling, and so sadly appropriate these days. ( )
  cuentosalgernon | Nov 27, 2015 |
A true talent, this author makes us see behind the faces that are presented to the public. See behind these lonely displaced, down and out people to their humanity, hopes and failures. All of these stories are very good but a few stood out for me. One of the stories is "Lark" where a woman is, thinking of things to do for her husband, a rather normal life kids, just leaving to go to work and then, well what happens just whacked me in the face, I actually hade to reread the paragraph. Won't soon forget that one. The other one concerns a priest in Syria and a hurling game, another one that surprised me.

Of course since all these stories take place in Ireland, hurley and hurling is mentioned in many of the stories and in some the brogue speech helps make them seem more authentic. I have read both of his books and loved them too. A new favorite author for me. ( )
  Beamis12 | Oct 13, 2015 |
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