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Night Boat to Tangier: Kevin Barry's unique brew of wit and mayhem lacks his usual depth

Fiction: Night Boat to Tangier

Kevin Barry

Canongate, hardback, 272 pages, €17.99

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Arch-divil of Irish literature: Kevin Barry’s third novel, Night Boat to Tangier, began life as a commission by the Abbey Theatre

Arch-divil of Irish literature: Kevin Barry’s third novel, Night Boat to Tangier, began life as a commission by the Abbey Theatre

Night Boat to Tangier

Night Boat to Tangier

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Arch-divil of Irish literature: Kevin Barry’s third novel, Night Boat to Tangier, began life as a commission by the Abbey Theatre

A gnarled lurch of a double-act. A missing mother. All manner of sweaty, randy, muzzy-headed hysteria. Kevin Barry, arch-divil of Irish literature and a feverishly unique mangler of the English language, is back with a third novel that almost never was, and it's comforting to find that he can be relied upon for certain things.

Night Boat To Tangier began life as a commission by the Abbey Theatre, who were keen to capitalise on Barry's post-Beatlebone intentions to once again don the clothing of a playwright (he followed up 2008's successful stage adaptation of his award-winning debut short story collection There Are Little Kingdoms with 2010's Burn the Bad Lamp and Autumn Royal in 2017).


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