The Spinning Heart, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (2 ratings)


This book is the Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013.

Shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award 2014.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013. Winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012. "My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in.

I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down.

He hasn't yet missed a day of letting me down." In the aftermath of Ireland's financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town.

As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires.

Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds.

The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel.

Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation.

Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and JM Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant.

Donal Ryan's brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The spinning heart is a very depressing book. Bleakness and depression are, apparently, the hallmarks of Irish literature, as are ugliness and abandon.The opening story is particularly strong, but the following stories, each devoted to a dfferent character, create a sense of disconnectedness. In subsequent chapters, connectedness between characters is indicated or suggested, but the novel lacks an overall structure, leaving it up to the reader to figure out how characters are connected.A very tiresome read.

Review by

This was a reading group book and unfortunately it suffered from the problem of just not being the sort of book I like reading. I can see that it's clever and about an important part of recent history. But it's just not my kind of thing. I found it depressing and boring - full of the chronically stupid and greedy being taken advantage of by the chronically greedy but clever. Not for me I'm afraid.