Ratings: 3.5/5 from 2 users
Barry won the 2013 IMPAC prize, beating finalists Murakami and Houellebecq, for his very first novel, City of Bohane, a dystopia starring homicidal hipsters. His second is even riskier: a literary fan-fiction fantasia. Two years before his death, John Lennon faces down writer’s block and middle age by journeying back to his own private island, Dorinish, a rock off Ireland’s west coast that Lennon actually owned. Talking seals and giant eggs make cheeky appearances; primal-scream sessions spin out of control; the specters of his mother and mortality loom. The final album that emerges is fictional, but this glorious lark feels canonical.