Short story review: Berlin Arkonaplatz – My Lesbian Summer by Kevin Barry

Story Title: Berlin Arkonaplatz – My Lesbian Summer by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape)
Briefly: Young Irish writer Patrick arrives in Berlin one summer, and shares an apartment with a lesbian Slavic fashion photographer called Silvija.
Afterthoughts: This story is full of sexually depraved characters – Bohemian deviants who seek to shock – but despite being crammed with so many strong personalities, Berlin Arkonaplatz – My Lesbian Summer didn’t really appeal to me all that much.

However, the story does have a redeeming quality, in the rather odd relationship between the protagonist Patrick and the photographer, Silvija. It’s a strength and supreme confidence of an older lesbian woman vs the young, heterosexual wet-behind-the-ears male writer kind of relationship, and in its depraved way it’s kind of endearing. One would consider this to be a difficult match for Barry to put together, yet he succeeds making the story much more readable than it is shocking.

All in all a story worth reading – if one is not easily offended – but I question whether it really has a place in this collection.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

This story was read as part of a review of Kevin Barry’s latest short story collection, Dark Lies the Island. If you want to find out more about the book, or you want to read other reviews from this collection, then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also invite you to take a trip over to the publisher page for this title.

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)