‘Nights at the Gin Palace’ by Kevin Barry

Title: ‘Nights at the Gin Palace’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: There Are Little Kingdoms (Stinging Fly Press)
Date Read: 17 September 2010
Briefly: It’s the early hours of the morning and Freddie Bliss sits with his daughter Angelica, alone in the ‘ancient’ family home in the middle of its rural setting. Freddie may well be eighty-five-year-old, but he’s still full of live and vigour. His daughter Angelica is full of something too – ambition! Ambition that she is going to turn the family home into a ’boutique hotel’.
Afterthoughts: This is another delightful story from Barry, and again it’s one that’s primarily about character. And what a couple of great characters Barry has created in Freddie and Angelica. Freddie with his ‘never sleeps but will drink and reminisce to get through the night’ frame of mind, and Angelica with her ‘always ambitious even though she’s failed so many times’ attitude. A superbly entertaining tale from Barry, which has put me on the verge of dubbing him the Irish Chekhov.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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).