The gamal is a most striking book written from the viewpoint of charlie the gamal or village idiot who is friends with sinead and james and is an observant outsider in this insular town in ireland charlies world is difficult and different from those around him only sinead and james appreciate his friendship and include him . Ciarn collins author of the gamal bloomsbury 2013 rooney prize 2013 tausend worte berlin verlag german translation charlie le simple france playwright . The gamal is narrated by a young man charlie who tells us from the off that we wont like him hes blunt undiplomatic and prefers to use photographs rather than describe places hes writing the book unwillingly as an account of a tragedy that occurred some years previously at the behest of his psychiatrist a man of whom he doesnt think very highly. The gamal sprawls to more than 450 pages but the unflagging ingenuity of ciarn collinss writing justifies its length he exists somewhere in a literary territory between patrick mccabe and roddy doyle but he is very much his own man and this is a cracking debut . The gamal is an outstanding debut for ciarn collins ils n dhuibhne is a writer and teaches in the creative writing ma course in university college dublin
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