At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill
'Weren't you never out for an easy dip?' he asked... 'I don't mean the baths, I mean with a pal. For a lark like.'
Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of Dublin rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, to raise the Green and claim it for themselves.
As a turbulent year drives inexorably towards the Easter Rising of 1916 and Ireland sets forth on a path to uncertain glory, a tender, secret love story unfolds. Written with verve and mastery in a modern Irish tradition descended from James Joyce and Flann O'Brien, At Swim, Two Boys is a shimmering novel of unforgettable ambition, intensity and humanity.
Paperback / 656 pages