Jamie O’Neill – At Swim, Two Boys
- Jamie O’Neill
- At Swim, Two Boys
- Simon & Schuster
- Publication date:
- To be verified
Set during the year preceding the Easter Uprising of 1916 — Ireland’s brave but fractured revolt against British rule — At Swim, Two Boys is a tender, tragic love story and a brilliant depiction of people caught in the tide of history. Powerful and artful, and ten years in the writing, it is a masterwork from Jamie O’Neill.
Jim Mack is a naïve young scholar and the son of a foolish, aspiring shopkeeper. Doyler Doyle is the rough-diamond son — revolutionary and blasphemous — of Mr. Mack’s old army pal. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the nude, the two boys make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, on Easter of 1916, they will swim to the distant beacon of Muglins Rock and claim that island for themselves. All the while Mr. Mack, who has grand plans for a corner shop empire, remains unaware of the depth of the boys’ burgeoning friendship and of the changing landscape of a nation.
- The German version (Im Meer, zwei Jungen, translated by Hans-Christian Oeser was published in October 2003. The synopsis must be compelling to make anyone pick that cover up.
- The Spanish translation, Nadan Dos Chicos (by Antonio Rivero Taravillo) stays with the boys and water theme.
- The Earthfall theatre company is currently touring with a sell-out production of the dance version of the book.