Reviews

  • "Billy O’Callaghan’s new novel grips from the opening page. The stride of his sentences is long and powerful, his vision raw. A spectrum of intensities from grief to love is revealed as relationships unfold with an honesty that is utterly believable."

    Bernard MacLaverty
  • "O’Callaghan [has made a] significant achievement in this fine novel… Good books remind us of other good books and in its treatment of adultery this one calls to mind thematic ancestors such as Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina and The Scarlet Letter."

    Bert Wright, Sunday Times
  • "A poignant, piercing meditation on middle age and the passing of time… these characters will linger with you long after the book is closed."

    Claire Kilroy, Guardian
  • "Quiet, subtle and deeply moving This is a fine novel, with elegance and wisdom lying beneath an unpretentious surface and O’Callaghan, a gifted writer, has managed to do that most difficult of things: take a quiet, almost everyday story and transform it into a thing of beauty."

    John Boyne, Irish Times
  • "[My Coney Island Baby] is the story of two ordinary people trapped in their ordinary lives. But in the hands of O’Callaghan it is magnified to the truly extraordinary. A great tragedy. I long thought Anita Brookner the high priestess when it comes to telling the tales of loneliness and defeat. But she’s now got company."

    Sunday Independent
  • "My Coney Island Baby is that rare thing: a love story that manages to be romantic and realistic… Billy O’Callaghan describes their love with a truthfulness that is often heart-rending... [his writing] demands to be taken slowly and savoured."

    Kate Saunders, The Times
  • "Billy O’Callaghan’s work is at once subtle and direct, warm and clear-eyed, and never less than beautifully written. He has a moving ability to express the hopes and fears of “ordinary” people, and he knows intimately the ways of the world. He richly deserves an international reputation. This writer is the real thing."

    John Banville
  • "A welcome voice to the pantheon of new Irish writing."

    Edna O'Brien
  • "Intensely romantic… [Billy O’Callaghan] is a writer who has an unyielding faith in the strength and vitality of language to convey the emotions and the physical world. In this sense, he is old-fashioned, straight out of the much-neglected D.H. Lawrence school of writing… he is also a writer who knows how to control his characters, his narrative, and… his voice. That’s what counts, and it’s what makes My Coney Island Baby such a good novel."

    Nick Major, Herald Scotland
  • "With poeticism and aching sensitivity, O’Callaghan unknots the minute workings of these starved adulterous souls… images rendered here stick with you, such is the intensity that they shimmer with."

    Irish Independent