Chosen as a Book of the Year by Sebastian Barry, Martina Devlin and Peter Cunningham
When fishermen Bolivar and Hector set sail from their South American village, they soon find themselves cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean by a sudden storm. As the days pass and no rescue materialises, the two men must come to terms with each other, and with their environment, if they are to survive.
Part gripping survival story, part fearless existential parable, Beyond the Sea is a meditation on what it means to be a man, a friend, a father and a sinner in our fallen world, a powerful and redemptive novel from a master of lyrical prose.
'Lynch demonstrates a control over his ideas that comes from a pure lyrical telling, a speech act that, if you let it, will take you anywhere. Beyond the Sea is frightening but beautiful.'
– Sebastian Barry, author of Days Without End
'Brutal and poetic... Alive with elegance and insight.'
'[Lynch’s] novels are artistic creations…this absorbing book is an evocative one…His fourth novel has echoes of Melville, Dostoyevsky and William Golding…But the literary work it most invokes is Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.'
– Sunday Times
'Such an aching sense of spaciousness feels in the spirit of its exotic setting, of Latin American sensualists such as Paulo Coelho or Pablo Neruda, or the deep eastern wisdoms of Hermann Hesse... Beyond the Sea deserves a special place in Lynch's increasingly fascinating and diverse catalogue.'
– Irish Independent
'Lynch has mastered the art of capturing his characters' anguish, and there is an enigmatic lyricism to his storytelling… The story is fantastically written, a truly magnificent portrayal of the gritty battle between despair and hope.'
'A lucid, lyrical tale of two lost men… The language attains a poetic intensity that is unusual and well earned.'
– Irish Times
'Paul Lynch won the Irish Novel of the Year 2018 for Grace, a lushly lyrical adventure story set in Famine-era Ireland. His follow-up...[is] a short but absorbing tale of the lengths to which people go to avoid admitting who they really are.'
'Lyrical, fantastical and almost hallucinatory… Lynch paints a wonderful picture of both the vastness of the ocean and the claustrophobia of the two men on the tiny boat… Like the protagonists, the reader too experiences a sense of dissociation from reality while traversing this haunting, dreamlike novel.'
– The Sunday Business Post
'Richly imagined…[has] the timeless aura and allegorical undertones of an ancient Greek myth…This is a book that will leave you feeling thoroughly wrung out by the final page, but also happy to be alive.'
– The Scotsman
'Combining the sensibilities of a Joseph Conrad or a Cormac McCarthy with the poetic intensity of an Emily Dickinson, this rich, raw, and powerful seascape by Paul Lynch throws the sea’s storms and the sea’s light into the darkest corners of human consciousness. An astonishing achievement.'
– Jane Urquhart, author of The Night Stages
'A powerful, heart-breaking story of friendship forged in the most extreme conditions. With its echoes of Greek myth, it yields up those small moments of grace that are deeply transformative.'
– Mary Costello, author of Academy Street
'A novelist with the eye and the ear and the heart of an absolute master. Paul Lynch is peerless.'
– Donal Ryan, author of From a Low and Quiet Sea
'Lynch makes the page sing like the old masters.'
– Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
'Paul Lynch is one of our greatest writers, and Beyond the Sea is his best work yet. A sublime, elemental, fever dream of a novel that constantly tests us, tempts us, and guides us. This is a work of art that relentlessly and slyly captures not only the trials of the human spirit, but what we are doing to our environment, our world, and to each other – a profound, unforgettable journey, one I urge you to experience.'
– Paul Yoon, author of The Mountain
'With echoes of Camus, McCarthy, Hemingway, and Coleridge, Lynch illustrates the reciprocally indifferent relationship between humanity and its environment, while subtly highlighting the same indifference between humans. The author of Grace (my favourite novel of 2017) presents a harrowing, yet redemptive tale of spiritual purgation delivered with poetic and deeply evocative prose.'
– Readings (Australia)
'With lyrical skill, Lynch reveals each man's regrets and hopes and fears, leading to a life-changing end for them, and possibly for you, too.'
– Weekend Sport
'One of his generation's very finest writers.'
– Ron Rash, author of Serena
'An unflinching look at the physical, mental and emotional mechanisms which humans use for surviving the most extreme conditions, the novella glistens with potent dialogue and lyrical descriptions… It’s also a heart-rending story about relationships and redemption… Paul Lynch is rightly considered one of Ireland’s rising literary stars.'
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