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Barry's writing has a brutal, desolate honesty to it; his observations are, for me anyway, uncomfortable at times. Whilst the writing shows flashes of brilliance, there is little joy in this book, rather an unflinching view of our fragility as human beings. It has the tone almost of Cèline.

The story unfolds in the ferry terminal of Algeciras; two old Irish drug smugglers, Maurice and Charlie, await the appearance of Dilly, Maurice’s "missing" daughter, who is traveling that night between Algeciras and Tangier. As they wait they drink and reminisce and we learn about these partners in crime who are intimate friends and were also part of a ménage à trois.

Some quotes which hopefully give a flavour of the writing...

"The Irishmen look out blithely at the faces that pass in a blur of the seven distractions - love, grief, pain, sentimentality, avarice, lust, want-of-death"

"We come into the world on the tip of a scream and the wave of our poor mothers' roaring".

"He will never lose the feeling of the love they had together, or the nausea of its absence".
 
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