Story Title: ‘The Mainland Campaign’ by Kevin Barry
Collection/Anthology?: Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape)
Briefly:A young Irish terrorist gets his first assignment in London. Will emotional attachment get the better of him?
Afterthoughts: This is only the second short story I’ve read in this collection that isn’t set on the Emerald Isle (the other being is Beer Trip to Llandudno). The characters are Irish, but the setting is mainly in and around Camden Town, London. It’s an OK tale – which focuses primarily on a young terrorist fighting his conscience – but to be honest it didn’t grab me to the same extent that some of Barry’s other stories have. There are moments of magic (the eclectic flavour of Camden Town is captured beautifully), but overall I found The Mainland Campaign to be a bit flat. Perhaps I didn’t find the characters in this story as interesting or as quirky as they usually are, and that’s something I really missed.
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.