Travelling in a Strange Land Synopsis
WINNER OF THE KERRY GROUP IRISH NOVEL OF THE YEAR 'I loved this delicate, beautifully written novella about fathers and sons' David Nicholls 'One of Ireland's great novelists' Roddy Doyle 'Wrings the heart' Bernard MacLaverty 'A mighty book' Frank McGuinness 'Extraordinary, raw and moving a chronicle of pain and powerlessness as could be written' Lisa McInerney AN IRISH TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR The world is shrouded in snow. With transport ground to a halt, Tom must venture out into a transformed and treacherous landscape to collect his son, sick and stranded in student lodgings. But on this solitary drive from Belfast to Sunderland, Tom will be drawn into another journey, one without map or guide, and is forced to chart pathways of family history haunted by memory and clouded in regret. Travelling in a Strange Land is a work of exquisite loss and transformative grace. It is a novel about fathers and sons, grief, memory, family and love; about the gulfs that lie between us and those we love, and the wrong turns that we take on our way to find them.
Travelling in a Strange Land Press Reviews
Breathtaking ... A dark secret and a frozen journey through the fraught terrain of parenthood drive this brave, exhilarating novel ... Every sentence in Parks's book is felt. The author has weighed up each word and considered every image, electing only those that carry sufficient freight to bear the reader to his intended destination Park takes this emotional terrain of parenthood as both his setting and his subject, and creates something exhilaratingly brave and powerful from its jagged peaks and troughs -- Claire Kilroy * Guardian * Another beautiful offering from Northern Ireland is David Park's Travelling in a Strange Land, though I accept that it'll make my giftees cry buckets -- Lisa McInerney * Irish Times, Books of the Year * David Park's Travelling in a Strange Land was a beautiful, intensely human study of fathers and sons that I'd gladly share -- Brian McGilloway * Irish Times, Books of the Year * This lucidly written and deceptively simple narrative by the highly regarded Northern Irish novelist David Park is the story of a troubled journey into the self and out into the world again, towards some glimmer of generosity and redemption * Sunday Times * A tense, tense, thrilling, strange and profoundly moving study of parenthood. There isn't a wasted syllable in this short, beautiful book -- Donal Ryan * Irish Times * Moving and eloquent - stays with you long after the final pages have melted away -- Donal O'Donoghue Sombre, but unsolemn, with a redemptive, tingling finale, this is a small book bursting with big emotions -- Anthony Cummins * Daily Mail * A deeply felt novel ... of personal tragedy and failure ... There is no false piety in this sometimes desperate, always measured novel, but a compassionately observed, manifestly flawed redemption * Irish Times * It is time to call David Park what he is - a very great writer. Travelling In A Strange Land is an eruption of love and sorrow, overwhelmingly compassionate and wise, hearing the heart break and maybe even heal, bearing the deepest testimony to the love, unending love, binding parent and child. A mighty book -- Frank McGuinness An extraordinary novel, at once startling and quietly brilliant. David Park is a one of Ireland's great novelists and this is, perhaps, his best -- Roddy Doyle This is a father and son novel of rare intensity. We are taken on an unforgettable winter journey and, like in a skid, we have no idea which way we'll be facing by the end. He writes with a focus and precision which wrings the heart -- Bernard MacLaverty I just loved the David Park. Everything about it. It's just a profound and beautifully sad work and if you want to know what great writing is, it's right there -- Niall MacMonagle This, then, is the story of a lost child and a parent's guilt about decisions that seemed justifiable at the time but that merely led the way to irreversible tragedy, about the search for redemption ... Its concerns are firmly on one man and his search for meaning and solace * Irish Independent * Extraordinary ... As raw and moving a chronicle of pain and powerlessness as could be written. Beautiful, too -- Lisa McInerney David Park is now one of the best British novelists. He's perfected his art. His new book qualifies him as the Belfast Turgenev ... One of the truest observers of life ... he is even more compelling on his favourite subject, the delicate balance which ties, and taunts, fathers and sons. This touching story of a ruminating father's solitary journey to Scotland to bring home his sick son for Christmas is one of his best yet. It has all of Park's magic, melancholy and tenderness, and is, in more ways than one, an absolute dream * Big Issue * Park appears to write effortlessly, with one foot planted firmly in the canon of traditional Irish lyricism and another flirting with modern parlance ... His emotional intelligence is remarkable * Daily Mail * A writer's writer ... Park is to be commended for his great skill with language and emotion -- John Boyne One of the shrewdest observers of the way we live now * Independent * He is an astute storyteller whose vision is sustained by instinct, intelligent observation, and a sense of responsibility * Irish Times * If there were any justice in the world this slim novel would be on everybody's Christmas list ... A short, intimate book with a big story to tell * Herald, Books of the Year 2018 *