30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy with a foreword by John Walsh
The Irish Quarter
The Final Story!
"Barry Boyle had worked with him at Turkey Reilly's Factory since both left school, the year before the Leaving Certificate, but the factory closed some eight months ago and all workers had been made redundant".
There are thirty stories in 30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. (I totally endorse purchase of this very fairly priced collection and will provide a publisher's link at the end of this post.) There is also a very interesting introduction by the editor Elizabeth Reapy (I have posted on her very well done short story, "Statues") and a foreword by John Walsh.. Agreeing with John Walsh, I think this book could well be a collector's item one day.
Posting on collections of short stories that include the works of many different authors presents a big challenge, to me at least. I do not personally care for reviews or posts on short story collections that simply have one or two lines on a few of the stories and then gush over the collection as a whole with standard book review quotes. These could in fact easily be written without reading much of the collection and to me it is like going on about a forest without realizing it is made up of trees. Because of the high quality of the stories and the collection's ability to acquaint me with contemporary Irish short stories, I now plan to post individually on all of the stories in the collection.
"What Is Your Goal In Life" by Richard Purcell is the last story in 30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy and it is a great one. Anyone who has ever felt their fate was in the hands of mindless patronizing bureaucrats and wanted to take revenge on them will love this story, I know I did. I for sure do not want to spoil this story for anyone by telling much of the plot at all as the ending is just so sublimely perfect. It is a story that deals directly with the decline in the Irish economy and the consequences of the closing of a turkey processing plant where Barry Boyle worked for many years. It shows his efforts to find another job and the treatment he gets by the government workers at the state benefits office. The story is beautifully written and if you do not like the ending you should have your pulse checked!
I for sure hope to read more stories by Richard Purcell in the not too distant future. I also hope to read and post on his novel.
Author Data (from 30 Under 30)
Richard Purcell is 27 years old. Originally from County Monaghan, he now lives in Dublin, where he is currently studying. He is working on his first novel, which he hopes might see the light of day in not too distant future.
You can find more information on 30 Under Thirty: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers at the web page of Doire Press.