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Blindboy Boatclub Boulevard Wren and Other Stories

Irish writer, comedian and podcaster Blindboy Boatclub's second collection of short stories, Boulevard Wren and Other Stories, is a riotous tour through the rotting undercarriage of a near-futuristic Ireland in crisis.

The stories are deeply macabre, telling lurid tales of people driven to the edge of their humanity by a society in decay. The central characters are united by a yearning for something beyond their reach: success, happiness, human flesh.

The plots are wildly imaginative and the characters intricate, but Blindboy's real talent is in the construction of a sentence. Depictions of the most grotesque people and situations - and there are some really horrific moments here - are rendered beautifully. Despite the dark subject matter, the writing is characteristically playful and evocative. Of one character, he writes, "Her heart is in the past and her teeth are a shore full of shattered shells."

Although it's unlikely our society will descend to quite such depths of depravity, the warning signs are there. What will become of us, Blindboy asks, if we allow social media and money to dictate our decisions? What will we have left?

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Helen Mort Black Car Burning

Helen Mort is best known as an acclaimed poet, who had won the Foyles Young Poet of the Year Award five times by the age of 18. Climbers…

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