“Colin Barrett’s sentences are lyrical and tough and smart, but there is something more here that makes him a really good writer. His stories are set in a familiar emotional landscape, but they give us endings that are new. What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected.”—Anne Enright

“Language, structure, style—Colin Barrett has all the weapons at his disposal, and how, and he has an intuitive sense for what a short story is and what it can do.”—Kevin Barry

“Many fiction writers are attracted to nonexistent but identifiable settings. Thomas Hardy created Wessex, Robert Musil transformed Austria-Hungary into Kakania, and in Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner literally mapped his Yoknapatawpha county . . . Colin Barrett confidently secures this same blend of familiarity and freedom with the first line of his debut short-story collection . . . his stories invite second readings that . . . seem to uncover sentences that weren’t there the first time around. Chekhov once told his publisher that it isn’t the business of a writer to answer questions, only to formulate them correctly. Throughout this extraordinary debut . . . Colin Barrett is asking the right questions.”—Guardian

“Incredible . . . reminds you of the massive things you can do in short fiction.”—Evie Wyld

“A writer to watch out for.”Guernica

“Every sentence counts in these mesmerizing stories from an exciting literary author.”Irish Examiner