Coming under the tutelage of his mad, beloved grandfather, Crowe is introduced to an existence he feels compelled to understand but is doomed forever to find elusive and mystifying. Breaking free of the old man's spell - drifting through the city hoping to complete his education - he embarks on a sudden, erotic affair with Marian, a young woman with a broken claim to divinity. Unable to see himself except through a prison of fictions, Crowe's life begins to escape him. Love story and gothic fairy tale, teeming with ghosts, sorcerors and vagrants, Crowe's Requiem is in eerie and treacherous meditation on the nature of storytelling by one of Ireland's finest new writers.
Praise for Crowe's Requiem
"Mike McCormack writes like a tinker. His paragraphs have a wild, peaty smell on them; his plot is medieval . . . The novel's heart is a beautiful love story, the kind that takes place in a room--two people whose love and desire become their transportation to all kinds of understanding. But for all its magical realism, Crowe's Requiem contains a very realistic magic: It makes you want to ask questions of ordinary people you meet, questions about living and dying, in case they are your guardian angels in disguise." - Los Angeles Times
"A well-imagined first novel . . . Crowe's Requiem--through its marvelous portrait of the hero's grandfather, and scenes of student life, including romance--is rooted firmly in the heart."
- The Irish Times
"A fantastical mashup of young love and doomy student alienation."- The Guardian
"McCormack contrives a balance, brilliantly, between fantasy and realism. If Crowe's childhood is a grimly funny folktale, as well as a fantasy about a fallen angel, it is also a convincing account of how an eccentric, lonely boy schemes to survive."
- The Times Literary Supplement
"McCormack, who first came to critical notice with a hard-hitting collection of stories, continues to surprise in this dream-like novel, which encourages the reader to find wider allegorical meanings in his everyday subject matter. The book is a triumph of economical, deeply charged language." - The Daily Telegraph
"Irish writer McCormack's first novel makes good use of his finely honed sense of the macabre." - Kirkus Reviews