Dermot Healy’s “A Goat’s Song”: the missing review

My reader may be wondering whatever happened to my review of this book. Let me quote from where I am known as abailart:








abailart:This reviewer has been out at sea three days. I’ve been hurled and whirled, up and down and backwards all at the same time, been beaten up and chased by goats, and had three barrels of rum, gin, brandy, vodka, Jack Daniels, whisky, whiskey, potcheen and every other spirit of Irish moonshine poured down my throat. What a way to spend Christmas. If I recover I will say something about this brilliant novel.


Elizabeth But keep this part, too. It’s funny. Were you chased by goats on the boat?


Abailart Would that a boat had been involved. No, my whole peninsula became unmoored after fiendish rodents chewed through my isthmus. My three hitherto tame Nanny goats with whom I have lived in peaceful harmony these many years were driven berserk by the raging seas and mistook me for a Billy goat.


Elizabeth Slightly different from the description of the book but I think you have a compelling story there. Maybe “A Goat’s Story: An Autobiography” is in order?


K.D. Cool way to spend Christmas! I know you will recover so I will wait for your review, Ab!

Happy New Year!


Abailart Happy New Year, K.D. to you too!

Am off for asylum in Scotland for a week, and will return to review in 2011.

So that was my second New Year’s resolution broken (the first being never to make resolutions). Seriously though (as if), being away from a book for so long before reviewing it does bring insights. I realise that I usually review immediately upon completion, with close textual references to specific points of theme or form, and a general evaluation. I am looking forward to doing the forthcoming review with a much broader sweep. Perhaps this is most appropriate, for the novel got into my head as few have, just as my head seemed to enter the novel. Such swirly, unsettling literature that changes with every point of observation sets up a task I relish.

By the way, the novel has nothing whatsoever to do with goats. Except that it has.


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