- 11 Sep 15
John Boyne may have the sales most Irish authors can onlydream of, but what he does not have is the respect writers like Anne Enright, John Banvill and Belinda McKeon enjoy. Beneath The Earth, his collection of 12 short stories, may change that, as this is arguably his best work. The collection spans a diverse array of subjects and settings. The book opens with ‘Boy, 19’, a grim tale about a male sex worker. While many of the stories are dark, this doesn’t set the tone for what follows. ‘The Schleinermetzenmann’ uses laugh out loud funny word-play, in a story about a failed writer and his more successful boyhood friend. ‘Empire Tour’ explores an episode in Agatha Christie’s first marriage and is deftly handled. Like any collection, there are some stories that are better executed than others, but there is enough here to keep you turning the pages.