Title: ‘The Shepherd on the Rock’ by Simon Van Booy
Collection/Anthology?: The Secret Lives of People in Love (Beautiful Books)
Date Read: 10 September 2010
Briefly: An homeless Irishman with an ecclesiastical past, describes a life spent mainly wandering the terminals of JFK International Airport. There is another aspect to the man’s life though – uncontrollable bouts of madness – and when these occur he takes himself off to another place, both physically and mentally.
Afterthoughts: As you can probably tell from the description, this is never going to be a ‘feel good’ story for anyone who reads it. This doesn’t stop the story being unmissable. Van Booy may have created a tale that contains a main character who is definitely in the lowest and darkest episode of his life, yet he still manages to paint the tiniest flickers of hope and light into his story as well. Quite remarkable, in so many ways.
This story was read as part of a review of Simon Van Booy’s collection, The Secret Lives of People in Love. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to either swing by my ‘forethoughts’ post, or to visit the product page on the publisher’s website; The Secret Lives of People in Love is published in the UK by Beautiful Books, and in the US by Harper Perennial.