Plano Reads: Night Boat to Tangier

Come join the Brown Bag Book Club for a discussion at noon on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at Parr Library of Night Boat to Tangier: a novel by Kevin Barry. Continue reading for a summary, reviews, and read-along suggestions.

Two aging Irish gangsters, their ill-gotten drug earnings gone, are spending the night reminiscing about their past in a seedy Spanish ferry terminal. Charles and Maurice are waiting for Dilly, Maurice’s estranged daughter, who is believed to be returning from Tangier. As their vigil continues, they tell stories of their strange and violent past filled with melancholy and regret and a dash of black humor. 

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The author has a knack for words and for putting banter on the page. In a skillful sentence, you sense the emotional temperature of a scene or the atmosphere of the sketchy places Charles and Maurice frequent. There is a vividly drawn understanding of the toll a life of serious crime has taken on the souls of these two terrible men.

This third novel (following Beatlebone) by IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner Barry is deeply satisfying. Stylistically, it advances the author’s talent for lyrical prose, with the dialog between Maurice and Charlie particularly magical. Similarly, Barry’s narrative pacing creates and then brilliantly settles the tensions between his characters. For all readers of literary fiction.

Library Journal

Want to chat about this book? Join the Brown Bag Book Club for a discussion at noon on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at Parr Library.

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