Book Review – A Slanting Of The Sun by Donal Ryan


Don’t pay any attention to this review, in fact don’t even arse yourself reading it. Donal Ryan’s new collection of short stories is simply a book that you should have known was something you needed to devour. After the quality of his wonderful The Thing About December and The Spinning Heart it more than lives up to both.

As I say so often here in reviews I want to reveal little about the stories themselves but I will tell you that the incredible universes here stretch from kids playing hurling in Syria to arguments over car parts through tiny kitchen conversations with ould lads always with the most beautiful language and perfect turns of word. In some cases he manages to tell whole lives and stories of impossible depth in three pages and, in Nephthys and the Lark, one story that tilted my perception of a subject entirely on its head.

A Slanting Of The Sun is full of minor flashes of beauty, tiny moments of insightful humanity, occasional unexpected turns of narrative and is easily one of the five best books I’ve read this year. There will come a time when we look on Donal Ryan as the finest chronicler of the voices of everyday Ireland in the early part of the 21st century.