Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A 2015 New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize
It is 1978, and John Lennon has escaped New York City to try to find the island off the west coast of Ireland he bought eleven years prior. Leaving behind domesticity, his approaching forties, his inability to create, and his memories of his parents, he sets off to calm his unquiet soul in the comfortable silence of isolation. But when he puts himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver full of Irish charm and dark whimsy, what ensues can only be termed a magical mystery tour. Beatlebone is a tour de force of language and literary imagination, a surreal novel that blends fantasy and reality—a Hibernian high wire act of courage, nerve, and great beauty.
says. Aren’t you delighted? The night fractures; it folds in. There is wild talk that the singer Ray Lynam might show—he is known to be in the vicinity. ——— An older lady sits and clings to him for a while, auntishly. She carries a waft of marmalade and brandy. She tells him that she is out with the sister—her bird-like fingers claw at his forearm—that she hasn’t talked to the sister in nine years, a nine years that is now lost to them—her nails dig into his skin—and there is no sign of a
unsettling vision on the beach. I was watchful of my tone, however—never in itself a good sign—and I worried that I may have been acting overly cheerful or hearty. The young lady at reception was pleasant and told me about some nearby walking and cycling routes. I said I’d see what the old legs had left to give, and I tried to keep the exclamation marks out of my speech. She said I was in room number nine and smiled quietly as she handed over the key. She asked me did I care to dine at the hotel
He sits in his tomb up top of the Newport hotel. It contains a crunchy armchair, a floppy bed, several arrogant spiders, a mattress with stains the shapes of planets and an existential crisis. But he wouldn’t want to sound too French about it. He looks out the window. It really is a very pretty day. The street runs down to the river, and there is the bridge across, and the hills rising and lah-de-dah, lah-de-dum-dum dah the green, the brown, the treetops, and it means nothing to him at all.
million tiny rooms but no doors no locks no keys—it’s the past that gets locked in—the sea is moving its inks about—close my eyes as i walk i’ve gone inside the past again—slip inside the old house then—uncle’s come up the stairs—uncle travels on a broken lung—wheezes like a busted accordion uncle maudlin’s travelling lung—the way his lips make the words and the news they bring—she’s gone, john—motherless waif left on the docks or some such violin fucking thing—she’s gone—put a hole in my arm and
bastards who don’t show up, John? Well this is it. The van also has given its last. We’ll take it by foot, John. We’ll find out what’s happening with the Mercedes at least. They walk down the mountain. They are headed for Mulranny. They walk the country by night. They come to the water and follow the long, dark, turning sea road. The world tonight is a monochrome dream. A pockfaced moon browses the road and bay. Cornelius raises his glance to curse it— Fucken thing, he says. There is an odd