Written in one long sentence (in which line breaks perform as a higher order of comma), McCormack’s remarkable and enjoyable book succeeds at both stretching the formal possibilities of the novel (for which it was awarded the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize) and in being a gentle, unassuming and thoughtful portrait of a very ordinary life in a small and unremarkable Irish town. The flow of McCormack’s prose sensitively maps the flow of thought, drawing feeling and meaning from the patterning of quotidian detail as the narrator dissolves himself in the memories of which he is comprised. This wash of memory suggests that the narrator may in fact be dead, the narrative being the residue (or cumulation) of his life, the enduring body of attachments, thoughts and feelings that comprise the person. Few novels capture so well the texture of a person’s life, and this has been achieved through a rigorous experiment in form.
Marcus Conway has come a long way to stand in the kitchen of his home and remember the rhythms and routines of his life. Considering with his engineer's mind how things are constructed - bridges, banking systems, marriages - and how they may come apart. Mike McCormack captures with tenderness and feeling, in continuous, flowing prose, a whole life, suspended in a single hour.
Winner of BGE Irish Book Awards: Book of the Year 2016.
WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2016
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017
Exceptional indeed: an extraordinary novel * Guardian * A masterpiece -- Blake Morrison Spellbinding * Irish Times * Hauntingly sad, but also frequently very funny - Proust reconfigured by Flann O'Brien. * Literary Review * Difficult to put down. This is prose that reads as if it is being thought ... reduced me to tears * New Statesman * Solar Bones is the encompassing flash of a life ... compulsively readable * Irish Times * Exhilarating -- Lisa McInerney The writing catches fire as we draw near to the void, pass over into death itself, and therein confront the truth that even in a fallen universe, when all distractions tumble away, the only adequate response to our being is astonishment. * Irish Times * On every page, a celebration of the everyday, the odd, the incidental. -- Sara Baume, author of SPILL SIMMER FALTER WITHER McCormack is one of our bravest and most innovative writers - he shoots for the stars with this one and does not fall short. -- Kevin Barry, author of BEATLEBONE
Mike McCormack is an award-winning novelist and short story writer from Mayo. His previous work includes Getting it in the Head (1996), Notes from a Coma (2005), which was shortlisted for BGE Irish Novel of the Year, and Forensic Songs (2012). In 1996 he was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for Getting it in the Head and in 2007 he was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. In 2016, Solar Bones won the Goldsmiths Prize and the BGE Irish Book of the Year award.