Night Boat to Tangier, by Kevin Barry (Canongate August 2019)

Neil's picture

A tough, gritty novel, set in the ferry terminal at Algeciras in Spain, from where boats come and go from Tangier in Morocco. 2 men wait for a girl, Dilly, the daughter of one of the men, who has run away. The story unfolds with flashbacks telling the story of what has come before. The men are Irish, malevolent gangsters, semi retired and past their best, but still able and willing to offer menace. The prose and dialogue is snappy, expressed in short sentences, with long passages of just dialogue. They discuss their past successes and failures, drinking, masturbation, women, why they're there. It's a compelling read, pacey, economical, vibrant with wit and colourful prose. Quite stunning and original.