‘Atlantic City’ by Kevin Barry

Title: ‘Atlantic City’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: There Are Little Kingdoms (Stinging Fly Press)
Date Read: 22 August 2010
Briefly: It’s July – the evening of a ‘tar-melter day’ – and the story closes in on the teenage patrons of a jerry-built, breeze-block arcade, built on to the side of Moloney’s Garage on Broad Street.
Afterthoughts: When I penned my forethoughts for the collection from which this story comes, my biggest wish was that I would be offered a taste of Ireland; of people and place. And I’m glad to say that the opener to this collection doesn’t disappoint in that respect. Yet, it also gives something more. This is the first story I’ve ever read from Barry and I love the style of his prose already. His descriptions are poetic and rich, and he seems to bring out a certain beauty in what others may find ordinary and plain. The main ‘star’ of this story is James, a lad who would be considered unremarkable in almost any other setting. Yet in this ramshackle arcade – which in itself can be best described as ordinary and plain – James stands on a pedestal as a god among men (and women), and Barry exalts him magnificently.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).