Originally Posted by PowerToWait
There's a general policy of over rating Irish authors in Ireland. Kevin Barry, Joseph O'Connor, Colum McCann, John Boyne, that lad from Wexford, have all written some terribly self indulgent muck, but not one critic will ever, ever criticise these sacred cows. Which is unfortunate.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was simply massively overrated.
Everything by Joseph O'Connor is terrible. Kevin Barry similarly way overrated.
I know that this is very old post, but I've just tried to read Kevin Barry for the first time and was searching for mentions. I couldn't get past the first 10 pages of City of Bohane
. When glancing at some of the writing it looked like an extreme variant of colloquialisms from Cork or Limerick, which I didn't get. Colloquialisms can cause trouble as they are naturally, so why bother trying an extreme variant? When I actually got down to reading it properly it was worse than I thought; it was a mix of South Western and African American slang, which resulted in a bizarre hybrid that was genuinely tough to read. The kind of writing the forces you to read a sentence several times to try and understand what is being said. While I truly think that people should write how they want to write, writing like his is the least attractive to me. If something takes great effort from sentence to sentence, it's very hard to view it with any sort of favorability.
The only lesson learned from this experience, is to not take book recommendations from Irish literary elite, as anytime I do I'm nearly always left underwhelmed.