BILLY Keane's 'Ballad of Mo and G' hit even higher notes this Christmas after it was chosen as the novel of the year by a Booker-nominated writer in one of the country's most influential round-ups of the year in fiction.
'The Ballad of Mo and G' is Billy's second novel, launched late last year to great acclaim. Interest in the book was boosted significantly among the nation's readers when it was chosen by Donal Ryan as his favourite novel of 2013.
Ryan was longlisted for The Booker Prize last year for The Spinning Heart.
"The Ballad of Mo and G by Billy Keane is my book of the year," Ryan wrote in The Sunday Business Post's fiction round-up.
"The characters are layered and nuanced and gloriously human. Heartbreak and comedy, tenderness and savagery meld into a beautiful, mad narrative that contains, among many unforgettable moments, the sweetest father-son relationship that I have ever read."
"Unlike Mo's for G, my feelings for this tale of obsession, family and human frailty are unequivocal: I love it," he said.
High praise indeed.