On a return to his home place in the mountainy middle of Ireland, Redmond Hatch meets old Pappie Strange, a fiddler and teller of tales whose honeyed words and giddy reels have persuaded the local mothers and fathers, anxious at the loss of traditional values, to bring their little lambs to his Saturday morning ceilidhs. Once, in Kilburn, married to the sugar-lipped Catherine, and sharing his daughter Immy's passion for My Little Pony, with its enchanted kingdom of Winterwood, Redmond was happy. But then infidelity, betrayal and the 'scary things' from which he would protect his daughter steal into the magic kingdom, and the bad things begin to happen. Now Redmond - once little Red - prowls the barren outlands alone, haunted by the disgraced shade of Ned Strange. A shape-shifter, Red reinvents himself as Dominic Tiernan, builds a new life in TV, finds a new wife and begins to know domestic happiness once more. Then one day, in Dublin, he spies Catherine again Like the best old songs and folk tales, this is a story both simple and complex, shot through with recurring themes and motifs, ribbons of song, rags of lore. Full of raucous humour and savage satire, Winterwood taps deep into the old, dark, unseen places below the shiny surface of modern Ireland. It is Patrick McCabe's most disturbing, original and accomplished novel yet.
"Patrick McCabe's Winterwood is a disturbing but brilliant evocation of modern rural Ireland." - Irvine Welsh
"An eerily kaleidoscopic mix that reads like a modern rendering of Poe." - The Telegraph
"McCabe has written a brilliant and disturbing profile of an individual and a place in often violent transition." - The Guardian
"A masterpiece." - The Observer
"He is the fortunate possessor of a savage and unfettered imagination; his books dissect life's miseries with a gleaming comedic scalpel." - The Times
"A new, chilling, spellbinding and highly original novel from the prize-winning author of "Breakfast On Pluto" and "The Butcher Boy", both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Winner of the Irish Novel Of The Year 2006, this is a mix of domestic drama, folk tale and fantasy. 'This is McCabe's greatest work... A sustained achievement of often dazzling brilliance...' – Irvine Welsh" - The Guardian
"Even if you brace yourself for a dark, twisted story, you'll still be creeped out by this tale, set in an Irish mountain town. Redmond Hatch meets storyteller Ned Strange, his alter ego of sorts. As Redmond describes his life and their encounters, secrets are revealed. Scenes shift back and forth over the years, with the story moving through pubs, apartments, jobs, and a haunting place called Winterwood. Apart from Ned's stories, there is limited dialogue, leaving McCabe to rely on vivid descriptions and on narrator Gerry O'Brien to create an atmosphere with a range of moods. His sole American character comes off as more Midwestern than upstate New York, but his Irish voices are both colorful and filled with emotion as the tormented tale unfolds." - AudioFile Magazine