At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'NeillAt Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill

At Swim, Two Boys

byJamie O'Neill

Paperback | August 31, 2002

see the collection LGBTQ+ Fiction

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Set in Dublin and its near surrounds AT SWIM, TWO BOYS follows the turbulent year to Easter 1916. At its core it tells the love of two boys, Jim, a naive and reticent scholar, the younger son of foolish, aspirant shopkeeper Mr Mack, and Doyler, the dark rough diamond son of Mr Mack's old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, the two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, to raise the Green and claim it for themselves. As Ireland sets forth towards her uncertain glory there unfolds a love story of the utmost tenderness, carrying the reader through the turbulence of the times like a full blown sail. AT SWIM, TWO BOYS is written with great verve and mastery. It shares those elements that are the marks of all great books - the breadth of its canvas, the skill of its brush, the intensity of its subjects and, above all, the shining light of its humanity.
Title:At Swim, Two BoysFormat:PaperbackDimensions:656 pages, 7.8 × 5.08 × 0.03 inPublished:August 31, 2002Publisher:Simon & Schuster UKLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0743239350

ISBN - 13:9780743239356


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A beautiful book This is a solid and wonderful period-piece where the gay characters are so wonderfully deft that it becomes just a part of the story - which is something incredibly rare and superb to read. While I should have known that it couldn't end out all roses and sunshine (this is a story that touches upon the formation of the I.R.A.), it was a bittersweet story that had so much depth to it on an emotional level that I was genuinely touched. The characterizations are dead on, the interactions are superb, and the period details are (as far as I can tell as a layman) dead on.
Date published: 2008-05-22