|At Swim, Two Boys (2001) [Novel]|
by Jamie O'Neill
Rating: Weighted - 8.8 / Average - 9.0 of 10 (2 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!
(From the publisher):
Set in Dublin and its near surrounds At Swim, Two Boys
follows the year to Easter 1916, the time of Irelandís brave but fractured uprising against British rule. At its core it tells the love of two boys, Jim, a naive and reticent scholar, the younger son of foolish, aspirant shopkeeper Mr Mack, and Doyler, the dark rough diamond son of Mr Mackís old army pal. Doyler might once have made a scholar like Jim, might once have had prospects like Jim: but his folks hadnít the beans, they sent him down the country. Now he has returned, schoolboy no more, but hauler of the parish midden cart, with socialism and revolution and wilful blasphemy stuffed under his cocksure cap.
And yet the future is rosy, Jimís father is sure. His elder son is away fighting the Hun for God and the British Army and he has such plans for Jim and their corner shop empire. But Mr Mack cannot see that the landscape is changing, nor does he realise the depth of Jimís burgeoning friendship with Doyler. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, the two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year hence, Easter 1916, they will jump from the Forty Foot and swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, there to raise the Green and claim that island for their country, and for themselves. As Ireland sets forth towards her uncertain glory there unfolds a love story of the utmost tenderness, carrying the reader through the turbulence of the times like a full-blown sail.
Original title: At Swim, Two Boys
Genre: Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Gay Male
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ British Isles→ Ireland