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Wild Horses with Colin Barrett, a Mr B’s Event

30 January @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

Mr B’s are thrilled to welcome Colin Barrett, one of Irish fiction’s rising stars, to discuss his much-lauded debut novel, Wild Houses

Colin was previously a winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Rooney Prize for his collection, Young Skins. One of the stories from that collection was adapted into the hit Netflix movie Calm With Horses

Wild Houses weaves together the lives of several characters – including a drug dealer, an enforcer, a teenage girl, and a recluse – as the town of Ballina, County Mayo, prepares for its biggest weekend of the year. 

Already championed by the likes of Sally Rooney, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright and Roddy Doyle, this promises to be one of the breakout debut novels of 2024, and we cannot wait to welcome Colin to Bath.

About Wild Houses:

As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, the simmering feud between small-time dealer, Cillian English, and County Mayo’s fraternal enforcers, Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, spills over into violence and an ugly ultimatum. When the reclusive Dev answers his door on Friday night he finds Doll – Cillian’s teenage brother – in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch.

Jostled by his nefarious cousins and goaded by his dead mother’s dog, Dev is drawn headlong into the Ferdias’ revenge fantasy. Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Nicky can’t shake the feeling something bad has happened to her boyfriend Doll. Hungover, reeling from a fractious Friday night and plagued by ghosts of her own, Nicky sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.

This strange and beautiful novel brings to life an entire world. Wild Houses is a book not just to read but to live inside — Sally Rooney

Colin Barrett quietly, insistently, writes so deeply into his characters you could reach out and touch them. Wild Houses is a gift of true storytelling and Barrett’s talent burns up the page — Anne Enright

Few people truly understand the deep tensions, traumas and banality of violence that can be found in small town life quite like Colin Barrett. Crime and the characters who commit it is his forte, but his writing is never less than masterful, and he sits squarely in the centre of a golden generation of new Irish writers — Benjamin Myers

Wild Houses has a rare momentum that comes from the rhythms of the sentences, the vivid descriptions and the brilliantly chosen details. The momentum emerges also from the depth and complexity of the main characters and the wide sweep of the narrative. In a small town in the west of Ireland over a few days, a whole world, memorable and edgy, is captured for the reader — Colm Tóibín

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