The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney was one of the books this month that I was most excited to read. I had heard wonderful things about this book and had come across some great reviews for the Audio book read by Shelly Atkinson. McInerney won the Baileys Woman’s Prize for Fiction for her depiction of the messy lives of a group of misfits living in Cork and messy is definitely one word to describe this book.
The book starts with a murder taking place at the hands of the mother of one of Cork’s biggest gangsters. This is the catalyst for a whole host of events that carry the reader across a span of 5 years. At first you do not see how all of the character lives are intertwined and I liked this. It is exciting to learn that characters that you have known for many chapters are involved in events that you would not have necessarily linked them to. The only problem is, I don’t really like many of the characters. The majority of them are weak, stereotypical and very predictable. Often the relationships are cliche and I just found it hard to believe that these characters could be real people. I ddid feel some connection with Ryan though. As a teenager with so much potential unfortunately Ryan’s social situation sends him into a life of crime. I should say that I began this book soon after finishing Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch and I feel that this may have impacted on how I approached The Glorious Heresies. The books are similar with regards to the fact that they are stories dealing with the coming of age of a young male who is surrounded by a life of drugs and crime. I feel that I may have held extremely high expectations for this book that unfortunately, it failed to meet.
Although the book itself is not to my liking Shelly Atkinsons reading of the book is fantastic. I normally struggle to listen to audiobooks that are not read by someone with a well spoken English accent. This is not the case here. Atkinson has a really thick Irish accent and I feel that this really complements a lot of the dark humour in this book. The separation of characters is clear and it is easy to slip into the story as soon as her voice comes through the speakers. If I had one criticism of the reading of this book it would be that some of the female characters, particularly Maureen, are read with a slightly screeching tone that I found could be slightly grating after a while. I do think though that I would not have finished reading this book if had tried to read this on my kindle. I don’t think I would have gotten through Chapter one!
Next audio book – The Martian by Andy Weir.