‘Potentially the best collection we’ll read all year’ – Young Skins by Colin Barrett


cbYoung Skins is the debut story collection by Colin Barrett, a writer who has in fact already featured on these pages; his story ‘The Clancy Kid’ appeared quite recently in the anthology Town & Country(ed. Kevin Barry), and while we weren’t entirely unforgiving about that volume (hey; when are we ever entirely unforgiving?), we’re definitely on record singing Barrett’s praises: his story, we said, had ‘vicious energy, characters that pulse with life, and a linguistic verve […] and Barrett nails the intense bleak aimlessness of small town life and youth’. This collection, then, follows happily in the same vein: a figurative sucker-punch of brutally raw emotion told an idiom that’s all Barrett’s own (though with the same zingy energy that we love in Barry’s work).

Set, in the main, in Barrett’s home county of Mayo, in the fictional town of Glanbeigh, the book’s seven stories give us glimpses into…

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