Report on Lonely Voice October Readings
I’ve been meaning to do a review of the Lonely Voice October reading, so here goes.
First up was Laura Peters with her story ‘Begging Time’. For me, the real strength of this story was in how well the author captured the atmosphere of contemporary Dublin at night. It is (and is meant to be) a very uncomfortable story, and there is a very noirish sense of a rainy, filthy, violent city throughout. Some of the sentences were brilliant and mesmeric.
Next up was Niall Quinn with ‘The Shopkeeper’. This was an understated, delicate and lyrical story told from a child’s point of view. I liked the subtlety of this one and the assured elegant style. It had a sense of the classic Irish short story about it, albeit filtered through a more contemporary sensibility.
Finally, Trish McKinney read her story, ‘The Night Shift’. This story was at its most powerful when philosophising on old age and the dereliction of the body. I liked the balance of humour and darkness in this one and that there is the sense by the end that we have been taken on a journey out of the character’s normal run of experience. This felt like a very complete and engaged story to me.
Overall, I was really impressed by the authoritative voices of all these stories. In fact, the evening as a whole inspired one of my companions to pick up pen again and start writing stories after years away from the craft. You can’t get a better compliment than that!