Mike McCormack Crowe's Requiem

ISBN 13: 9780099767213

Crowe's Requiem

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9780099767213: Crowe's Requiem

Crowe's Requiem is an eerie, dark, and otherworldly tale of a young man of uncertain origins and of his dreamlike but all-too-rapid transit through life. Rich in language and imagination, it is the work of an uncommonly talented young writer.

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Review:

The first section of Crowe's Requiem is eerily reminiscent of Günter Grass's classic novel The Tin Drum. In that book, young Oskar refuses to grow, remaining instead in the body of a 3-year-old even as he ages mentally and psychologically. In Irish writer Mike McCormack's novel, the title character not only refuses to grow, he won't walk or speak, either. "I was taking stock of the world and had made a decision not to pronounce on it until I was in full possession of the facts. I would not be lured so easily. So throughout my infancy I stayed dumb, a watcher on the kitchen floor; piling up information in my heart, waiting for my moment." Eventually the moment comes and the boy begins to grow. He also goes to live with the only member of his family who understands him, his grandfather, who has a grim take on the world: "There will be death and pain and affliction, illness and grieving, and humiliation, any number of variations on the fundamental misery of being.... I would like to be able to tell you a different story, but any other version would fly in the face of the facts." From this relentlessly honest old man, the child learns, among other things, the importance of having the right name, for without it, a man isn't himself. He christens himself Crowe.

In the little village of Furnace in the west of Ireland, Crowe is friendless. Once he arrives at a university in the city, however, he makes a vital connection with a young woman. But their happiness is short-lived when Crowe makes a rash choice out of love, and pays a terrible price. In his debut collection of short stories, Getting It in the Head, Mike McCormack displayed great versatility, ranging from gruesome black humor to touching familial love. Crowe's Requiem has all of his darkness but all of his tenderness as well, as he limns this tale of a self-described fallen angel. --Alix Wilber

About the Author:

Mike McCormack is the author of Getting It in the Head (Holt, 0-8050-5371-9), which won the Rooney Prize for fiction in 1996. Born in 1965, he is a graduate of University College Galway and lives in the west of Ireland.

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Mike McCormack
Published by Vintage, 1999 (1999)
ISBN 10: 009976721X ISBN 13: 9780099767213
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McCormack, Mike
Published by Vintage (1999)
ISBN 10: 009976721X ISBN 13: 9780099767213
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