Reviews

  • A radically different take on memoir... Inventory is a book of hard-won truths, a detailed map of a journey out of the labyrinth, the maze of memories, anecdotes, evasions and secrets… A book of revelations, then, both large and small, its truths reverberate in the imagination long after you finish reading it

    Sean O'Hagan, Observer
  • Absolutely masterful

    Lisa McGee, writer of Derry Girls
  • Inventory is a remarkable memoir; a work of auto-archaeology, really, in which Darran Anderson disinters his own and his country’s hard pasts, shaking life, love and loss out of the objects of his youth in Northern Ireland. Bleak, tender, inventive and oddly gripping, this is a book of restless ghosts, written in defiance of darkness, and told by means of diving into what Nabokov once called “the dream life of debris”

    Robert Macfarlane
  • Important... vividly rendered... Inventory may in fact be above all an exercise in memory -- gathering, questioning, verifying, and identifying the voids. Even when the subjects are difficult to catch, the hunt is always vital and compelling

    Garrett Carr, Times Literary Supplement
  • A portrait of a family and a portrait of a city -- vivid, intense, engrossing, and always beautifully written

    Kevin Barry
  • A memoir, a microhistory and a crime scene - or, rather, a collection of them... Inventory reads like a dam-burst, then, an overwhelming of Derry, of Northern Ireland, with memory, its coursing rivers, undercurrents, treacherous accumulations... This isn't a book about the Troubles so much as it is a book about disputed borders, about where the city ends and the improvised playgrounds of industrial edge-lands begin, where fantasies of adulthood cross into adult realities, and where the specter of conflict spills over into everyday life

    David Keenan, New York Times
  • I cried at much of this book, and laughed my belly sore at much of it too. The writing is intoxicating. The sheer fucking poetry of it all, the splendour and the decay, the beauty and the horror; the unearthly, moon-lit sorrow... This book is brave. This book is brilliant. This book will help so many to break silences they should never have been forced to keep, about things they should never have had to live through... We need this book, and by ‘we’ I mean every single bleeding one of us

    Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Caught by the River
  • A finely textured account of [Anderson's] upbringing in a city that Catholics called Derry and many Protestants knew as Londonderry... [Inventory] is an admirable feat of recreation that yanks the past back into clear focus—and, as Brexit calls into question the border arrangements that are part of the peace deal, a timely warning

    Economist
  • Processed by Anderson’s restless, roving intelligence and obsessive curiosity, Derry rises from the pages of this book as a place that’s at once intensely familiar and uniquely strange. Crossing the faultlines between family, history and myth, Inventory is a vivid, singular act of memory

    Chris Power
  • I’ve not got words to tell you how good this book is. A memoir, an imagination, a lyric, a history - woven around Derry, its families, legends and its hard, hard story. It is a complete book

    Ned Boulting

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