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Deeply introverted and yet in your face, this complex and but creative novel is based on John Lennon stepping out of his everyday life to find himself.  The fact that this is based on John Lennon’s life is a little hard to establish in the early pages but does eventually become relevant later in the book, but that is apparently what it all about!

All John wants is to have three days to be able to clear the crap in his life; to be able to scream and scream until all the hatred, misery, self-doubt and angst are gone from his system.

He takes himself off to an Island, a place he has purchased some time before off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland, which is the setting for this ‘bloodletting’, this coming to terms with the inner self.

The words used are concise and precise which gives a certain something to the prose that will either relate or grate, dependant on where you are at when reading this work.

Stark reality coupled with a considerable amount of crudeness seems to be the basis to be able to look into John Lennon’s psyche; but as this is a work of fiction, anything can be considered a reality.

Perhaps dysfunctional in the manner of writing it portrays a time in life when everything you consider is important comes into consideration, review and reconstruction; if this is an alternative basis for the work then well and good.

It is darkly wry, takes a look inside what appears to be a troubled mind, but due to fractionalised construction of the writing gets very confusing, distractive and more than a little disturbing.

There is an audience this will appeal too but it is specific, as the work could almost be considered to be formative of a ‘cult’ following. Not quite ‘noir’ but close!


Author Kevin Barry
Publisher A&U Canongate
ISBN 9781782116141
Distributor Allen & Unwin
Released November 2015