Sunday, December 23, 2018

William Finnegan's ten desert island books

William Finnegan is a staff writer at The New Yorker. His latest book is Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

One of the author's ten favorite books, as shared at
City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

The language sizzles and hisses in this 2011 Irish novel set in a steampunk future. We slip from the Trace, all tangled alleyways, to the Fancy, which is as it sounds, and even out to the wastes of the Big Nothin’, from which the Bohane river crashes down through the city. There’s a gang war, indelible characters, a martial music. Sweet Baba Jay, did anyone ever really speak this way? It’s wordplay at the level of Nabokov, but with a very different, Gaelic purpose. “Fucker Burke and Wolfie Stanners set their face against the hardwind as they climbed the bluffs.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue