The Gamal

by Ciarán Collins

by Ciarán Collins

Charlie is a gamal - seen as simple, stupid, the village idiot. In Ciarán Collins' astonishing debut novel, Charlie narrates his own story and the story of James and Sinéad, his two childhood friends, against the backdrop of the small Irish village in which they grew up. As Charlie begins to piece together a narrative, relive his past and work out where everything began, the effects of the amassed jealousies, recriminations, and prejudices of those around them begin to unfold in this stunning modern tragedy.

Startlingly moving and distinct, this is a beautiful novel. At times extremely funny, heart-breaking, and shocking, and ever wholly engrossing, Collins fills The Gamal with a rare poignancy, passion and insightfulness. The unpredictable, understated brilliance of the narrator, Charlie, balances a brutally honest depiction of mental anguish, and illness, through his own battle to come to terms with events, against the slow burning intrigue of this lyrical, bittersweet love story.

The Gamal is as accomplished as it is original. The voice with which Collins depicts his characters is at once intimate and distant, and speaks far beyond its seeming component qualities. Emotionally intricate, thought-provoking, regularly surprising and touching, yet all without cliché or any excess of sentiment; quite simply brilliant - read it.


Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus

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