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
  • "Novel of the year is My Coney Island Baby, by Billy O’Callaghan, a lush, precise, poetic account of a love affair that ends the way most love affairs do. We knew O’Callaghan to be a master of the short story, and here he shows the grand reach of his powers as a novelist."

    John Banville, Irish Times *Books of the Year*
  • "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."

    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."

    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."

    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."

    The Times
  • "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."

    Herald Scotland