Trevor Byrne's Ghosts & Lightning offers up yet another fine Irish storyteller.
Denny Cullen’s mother dies and so he returns from self-exile in Wales to the low-life streets of his boyhood, Dublin. His relatives and pals are a gaggle of calamities. Byrne’s narrative had already won me over but describing his substance-abusing buddy Pajohe smells like a breach of the Kyoto agreementsealed the deal.
Denny, who is a decent sort among a flotilla of human shipwrecks, orbits around the twin polarities of the dole and dope. Being a disaffected twenty-something, he finds himself bouncing from one (humorous) misadventure to anotherparties, séances, funerals (yes, a ghost makes an appearance), all narrated in the gritty patois of Dublin’s tough boulevards.
Such is the evidence of a pythonic talent in Byrne’s first opus that even though it is a satisfying read, I’m looking forward to more from young Trevor Byrne (reportedly his next novel’s working title is taken from Paradise Lost)let’s hope the wait is not a long one.