TransAtlantic by Colum McCann


Shut out the lights on the world below

The past, as they say, is most often written by those who are victorious.  At first blush, by fictionalizing a number of historically consequential voices and weaving them into his narrative, National Book Award winning author Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin) appears to buying into the this notion with much verve.  However the further that his Man Booker Prize longlisted novel TransAtlantic progresses, the more clear it becomes that McCann is only interested in these prominent figures as a set of high profile glue sticks whose value lies in their ability to help paste together a much more ambitious, socially conscious narrative detailing the plight of Northern Ireland and the unheard voices of the common folk who endured throughout these turbulent years.  The resulting story is extremely poignant at times, yet woefully stodgy at others.

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