About The Book

~ The Irish contemporary classic in a beautiful new edition ~

'Weren't you never out for an easy dip?' he asked . . . 'I don't mean the baths, I mean with a pal. For a lark like.'

Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of Dublin rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: that Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of the Muglins rock, to raise the Green and claim it for themselves. As a turbulent year drives inexorably towards the Easter Rising of 1916 and Ireland sets forth on a path to uncertain glory, a tender, secret love story unfolds. Written with verve and mastery in a modern Irish tradition descended from James Joyce and Flann O'Brien, At Swim, Two Boys is a shimmering novel of unforgettable ambition, intensity and humanity.

'One of the greatest Irish novels ever written' David Marcus

'The music of Jamie O'Neill's prose creates a new Irish symphony' Peter Ackroyd

'Heartachingly beautiful' Independent on Sunday

'A vivid picture of human freedom' Sunday Times

About The Author

Raised in County Dublin, Jamie O'Neill is the author of Kilbrack and At Swim, Two Boys, which won the Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction and the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Men's Fiction. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (October 4, 2002)
  • Length: 656 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743207140

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Raves and Reviews

At Swim, Two Boys gets nearer to the truth of our lives than most established writers dream of’ 

– Independent

‘Jamie O’Neill’s masterpiece holds a special place in my heart for its bravery, its originality, its memorable characters and the dexterity of its language’

– John Boyne

‘The music of Jamie O’Neill’s prose creates a new Irish symphony

– Peter Ackroyd

‘O’Neill has stepped boldly and knowingly into the company of the Irish high modernists . . . At Swim, Two Boys is both footnote and foot forward, flexing its muscles within the Irish canon and breaking new emotional ground

– Guardian

‘A vivid picture of human freedom; of moving from fear of the world to acceptance of its fluid variety, while illuminating the nature of the imagination that makes it possible to do so’ 

– Sunday Times

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