Title: ‘Animal Needs’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: There Are Little Kingdoms (Stinging Fly Press)
Date Read: 26 August 2010
Briefly: With an inspector from the Organic Certification Board due at his poultry farm, John Martin has certainly got his work cut out. And if things weren’t busy enough for him already he’s also got to deal with a marital dispute, a psychotic pet and an unignorable carnal calling. It looks like a hectic day ahead for the poor old farmer.
Afterthoughts: This is a quality story from Barry; one that’s full of wit and humour and a whole load of tension. It’s fair to say that there’s a lot going on in this story, and with Barry throwing so many eggs into his story basket it could have all gone wrong. Thankfully it doesn’t and Barry emerges without any of that metaphorical egg on his face. You know, I’m starting to really enjoy the stories of Kevin Barry. He’s not only entertaining me, but he’s also giving me a great cultural lesson – albeit a severely skewed one – into the lives of the Irish people. Gotta love a writer who does that for you.
This story was read as part of a review of Kevin Barry’s short story collection, There Are Little Kingdoms. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to either visit my ‘forethoughts’ post, or to pop along to the product page for the collection, on the publisher’s website.