Set in contemporary Ireland, this new novel from the prize-winning author of Solar Bones explores judgement, penance, loss and recovery
A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR
How do you rebuild a world that seems to be falling apart?
Nealon returns to his family home in Ireland after a long time away, only to be greeted by a completely empty house. No heat or light, no sign of his wife or child anywhere. It seems the world has forgotten that he even existed.
The one exception is a persistent caller on the telephone, someone who seems to know everything about Nealon’s life, his recent bother with the law and, more importantly, what has happened to his family. All Nealon needs to do is talk with him. But the more he talks the closer Nealon gets to the same trouble he was in years ago, tangled in the very crimes of which he claims to be innocent.
Part roman noir, part metaphysical thriller, This Plague of Souls is a story for these fractured times, dealing with how we might mend the world, and the story of a man who would let the world go to hell if he could keep his family together.
“This Plague of Souls is written in perfectly-pitched cadences. It captures with exquisite care a man ambushed by loss and fear, by hovering forces that are mysterious and otherworldly and beyond his control. It further establishes Mike McCormack as one of the best novelists writing now”
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“This is the reason Mike McCormack is one of Ireland’s best-loved novelists; he is the most modestly brilliant writer we have. His delicate abstractions are woven from the ordinary and domestic – both metaphysical and moving, McCormack’s work asks the big questions about our small lives”
“The Irish master of tension returns … This Plague of Souls, a late entry for the most interesting novel of the year, is more straightforwardly expressed, but remains a fully fledged tale of the unexpected”
“Terror, crime and sinister phone-calls – a magnificent Irish novel. For the most part, it reads like a thriller, shot through with a pervading atmosphere of precarity and uncertainty … a beautifully written collision of mystery and metaphysics”
“McCormack’s language is evocative, perfectly suited to the noirish atmosphere he builds throughout the book … McCormack displays his gift for describing landscapes and situations that might seem unlovely, but for the fact that they are loved by the author’s observing eye”
Mike McCormack is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Mayo. His previous work includes Getting it in the Head (1996), Notes from a Coma (2005), which was shortlisted for BGE Irish Novel of the Year, and Forensic Songs (2012). In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for Getting it in the Head and in 2007 he was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. In 2016, Solar Bones won the Goldsmiths Prize and was BGE Irish Book of the Year, and in 2017 was longlisted for the Man Booker prize.