Friday, June 06, 2008


I got this from poet Dan Bouchard many moons ago. I think he was moving from Philly to Newport, and he divested his massive library of a couple boxes by sending them my way. Occasionally I still find some of these volumes unread.

I'd not heard of Paul Watkins, but dude can write! This a fantastic little novel and I was swept away. Blurbs on the book cover riff on his similarities to Hemingway; I can see the stylistic resemblance in Watkins' sparse descriptive passages and in the combat scenes. But Watkins is a better prose writer than Hemingway, at least in this book.

Ben Sheridan grew up in Rhode Island, the son of Irish immigrants. A terrible accident kills his father, and he finds out that his father's past was more colorful than he previously knew. Ben's attempt to find answers take him home to the west coast of Ireland as the Troubles turn bloody during the early 1920s. He learns the information he sought but at a terrible cost.

I'll definitely seek out more from Mr. Watkins.

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