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
  • "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
  • "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 portrait of a family and a portrait of a city -- vivid, intense, engrossing, and always beautifully written"

    Kevin Barry
  • "Absolutely masterful"

    Lisa McGee, writer of Derry Girls
  • "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
  • "A searing memoir about growing up in poverty in Derry"

    Lucy Caldwell
  • "An astonishing window onto a world that has been painted with such limited palettes by decades of news coverage, but also a marvellous poetic reminder that every place is a universe of magical possibility to the perceptive mind. I’ll never forget this book"

    Damian Le Bas
  • "Inventory is an endearing portrait of familial resilience, written in some of the most beautiful prose I have ever encountered in an autobiographical work. Every sentence is perfectly constructed, all at once elegantly descriptive and harsh in its grinding realism... The book’s passages and chapters shiver with tension, a copper wire on the brink of snapping loose to slash open your cheeks."

    Amy Riddell, Bookmunch