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At Swim, Two Boys
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
Set in Dublin, At Swim, Two Boys follows the year to Easter 1916, the time of Ireland's brave but fractured uprising against British rule. O'Neill tells the story of the love of two boys: Jim, a naive and reticent scholar and the younger son of the foolish aspiring shopkeeper Mr. Mack, and Doyler, the dark, rough-diamond son of Mr. Mack's old army pal. Doyler might once have made a scholar like Jim, might once have had prospects like Jim, but his folks sent him to work, and now, schoolboy no more, he hauls the parish midden cart, with socialism and revolution and willful blasphemy stuffed under his cap. And yet the future is rosy, Jim's father is sure. His elder son is away fighting the Hun for God and the British Army, and he has such plans for Jim and their corner shop empire. But Mr. Mack cannot see that the landscape is changing, nor does he realize the depth of Jim's burgeoning friendship with Doyler. Out at the Forty Foot, that great jut of rock where gentlemen bathe in the scandalous nude, the two boys meet day after day. There they make a pact: Doyler will teach Jim to swim, and in a year, Easter 1916, they will swim the bay to the distant beacon of Muglins Rock and claim that island for themselves. Ten years in the writing, At Swim, Two Boys has already caused a sensation in England and Ireland, earning lavish praise for its masterful portrayal of class, tradition, and the conflict that has haunted Ireland for centuries. Jamie O'Neill's poetic and evocative storytelling makes him a natural successor to James Joyce and Flann O'Brien. At its heart, At Swim, Two Boys is a tender and tragic love story that will resonate with all readers. But it is also a compelling and important work, a novel about people caught up in the tide of history -- set in a place and culture both unfamiliar and unforgettable.
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KarenUK
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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#7days7covers #CoverCrush #Day4 💕

I tag @JennyM if you‘d like to play along? Just post 1 cover you love, each day for 7 days, no explanation needed and use the hashtags 😊💕

Cinfhen You are drawn to water and real life images / I‘m drawn to flowers and illustrations ~ so interesting! 2mo
Tanisha_A Loving that blue! 2mo
Kalalalatja It is a striking cover! 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Tex2Flo All your choices for this challenge have folks jumping into the water... psychologically, what does this tell us? It's hot outside? Or you're looking to dive into something new? 2mo
BarbaraBB Have you read the book? It‘s on my shelf but it has been there for years and years! 2mo
KarenUK @tex2flo nothing too deep! (No pun intended).... probably just that I love turquoise and swim most days! 🤷‍♀️😂 2mo
KarenUK @cinfhen I actually hadn‘t noticed the pattern! Though I am definitely drawn to water.... I swim most days.... and would you believe tomorrow‘s pick is watery too! 💦#predictable 2mo
KarenUK @BarbaraBB It‘s been languishing on my kindle for a while too! 2mo
Cinfhen Ha!!! I went “watery” today too and so did @BarbaraBB 2mo
52 likes9 comments
review
TrishB
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Pickpick

I nearly gave up initially, the writing and the dialect are hard work to start with and I think sometimes I‘m a bit lazy and put them aside quite quickly. But I persevered and got into the rhythm of the writing at about 50 pages. The story, both the personal and the historical, are amazing and important. A gay love story, set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 1916 Ireland, you learn a lot about both.
Worth the effort.

Megabooks Great review! 6mo
BarbaraBB Good you got into it. I couldn‘t. 6mo
TrishB @Megabooks thanks 👍🏻 6mo
See All 7 Comments
TrishB @BarbaraBB I can totally see why, it‘s very difficult and I did nearly give up, then it just seemed to click. 6mo
BarbaraBB I am mistaken! I haven‘t read this one but 6mo
BarbaraBB ... which I couldn‘t get through. Yours is still tbr! 6mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB that looks like a hard read! 6mo
101 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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TrishB
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Everyone still in bed, slipping in a quiet read and starting this one. Not much more reading will be done today, son coming home for the footie. Doesn‘t want to be with non fans whatever the outcome 🤞🏻⚽️

erzascarletbookgasm 🤞👊 Reds 6mo
Cathythoughts Good luck 👍🏻😘 6mo
Kalalalatja 🤞🤞🤞 6mo
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB This book 😬. Looking forward to what you think! 6mo
arlenefinnigan The best of luck. 6mo
KarenUK 🤞🤞🤞 6mo
Cinfhen Good luck 👊🏽enjoy the day 6mo
krismlars Happy reading! I've had this book on my shelf for years, but with a different cover.
6mo
111 likes1 stack add8 comments
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TrishB
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Today‘s purchases 😁 brought the tagged book due to @Olivia306 review last week. The man in the shop said it will make me cry! Can‘t wait.

Cathythoughts Sounds great ... I love the crying book too ... 7mo
Amiable I‘ve had this book sitting unread on my shelves for years —maybe a decade now? I‘m looking forward to your thoughts on it to kick me into finally reading it! 7mo
Leniverse I keep wondering if that title is a nod to Flann O'Brien's "At Swim-two-Birds. I haven't read either. But I've read two other books by O'Brien, and he wrote totally absurd comedies, so maybe not... 7mo
See All 19 Comments
Kalalalatja Sounds great! 7mo
Velvetfur Nice haul! Can you remember what that blue plaque said on the wall above the shop? I screenshot your pic and zoomed in but it's too blurry to read! 7mo
Leftcoastzen I love At swim two birds ! 7mo
Olivia306 @TrishB He‘s not lying. You will. 😭 Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 7mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts nothing beats a good book cry! 7mo
TrishB @Amiable I‘ll let you know 👍🏻 7mo
TrishB @Leniverse probably not 😁 7mo
TrishB @Velvetfur it‘s for Mark Ashton, he was an activist 💕 7mo
TrishB @Leftcoastzen oh goodie!! That‘s great to hear 👍🏻 7mo
TrishB @Olivia306 your review stayed with me so I knew I was going to buy it when I went in the shop! 7mo
Velvetfur @TrishB Oh cool, thanks 👍 7mo
Cinfhen I see I‘ve already stacked!!! 7mo
Cinfhen Nice haul 🤩 7mo
TrishB @Cinfhen I think I stacked 2 years ago! One of these is for my son for his dissertation! 7mo
Cinfhen I‘m curious about 7mo
TrishB @saresmoore reviewed ages ago and it stuck in my mind and it was there in front of me! @Cinfhen (edited) 7mo
108 likes3 stack adds19 comments
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HelvetiCannnoan
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Honestly though, look at that thickness!! This might just be one of the biggest books I‘ll ever read in my life 😲👍

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HelvetiCannnoan
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Did a little bit of thrift shopping online and MY GOD I WAS NOT EXPECTING THEM TO BE THIS THICK. Dunno how I‘m gonna hide these in a drawer but whatever, the journey on this one is gonna be one helluva ride 🤟😎 it‘s gonna be worth it though

review
Olivia306
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Pickpick

This book, this love story! 😭😭 The first 20 pages were gruelling but after getting used to the utter Irish narrative voice, I was rewarded with not just a complex political and social portrait of Ireland before the Easter Rising, but also with a moving coming of age story. And what a beautiful and heartbreaking gay story it is! Though there are some parts that could‘ve been edited out, this is still one of the best books I read in some time.

TrishB I see I have already stacked! Great review 👍🏻 7mo
Olivia306 @TrishB Thank you. 🤓 7mo
14 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Olivia306
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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The perfect weather to curl up with a book. It's been cold and miserable here so I need this book to pull me inside its beautiful world. A lot of people praised it so I have high expectations. 🤓📚

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Kristelh
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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laytonwoman3rd
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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review
Liz_M
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
Pickpick

The coming-of-age of both the protagonists and of Ireland, beautifully told. #1001books

AshleyHoss820 This is easily of my favorite reads from the 1,001 list. 2y
2 likes1 comment
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shawnmooney
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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So I had a lovely oversized softcover edition of this book on my shelf for years and years, unread because I was daunted by its girth. Never mind the fact that, one day, a bird flew in through the patio door, perched down upon it, and pooped a little. So then I had two reasons to avoid it. This article reminds me that I should splurge for a brand-new copy and finally try it out!

Article link below:

TrishB Sounds interesting 👍 stacked 2y
tpixie Lol 🐦 2y
See All 6 Comments
Bibliogeekery I quite love this book! 2y
quirkyreader I am looking forward to this one. 2y
saresmoore 😂 2y
42 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Bibliogeekery
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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My sweet, gay 19 year old cousin is coming to stay for the summer. I'm preparing his room and have made him a little curated shelf of #queerbooks (although my house is FULL of them). I haven't even got the sheets washed yet but I've got the books sorted. Classic booknerd! 😍📚

Lindy I am sure he will feel warmly welcomed by the selection on that shelf. 😊 3y
Bibliogeekery @Lindy Thanks Lindy! I'm so excited to have him here! 3y
shawnmooney What a wonderful selection! 💖💖💖 3y
See All 8 Comments
DiruVamp That is so wonderful I'm sure he will love it! (edited) 3y
Hobbinol How wonderful! You're a good cuz!!! 3y
LeahBergen Love this! 💗 3y
ReadingEnvy Lovely! 3y
Dragon Nice selection, it's so fun to visit and read new books, hope he has a fun stay at your place 😀 3y
101 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Redjewel_7734
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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#marchintoreading with some #irishauthors ☘️☘️☘️

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled LOVED this one. It was difficult but worth it. 3y
Redjewel_7734 @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled it's been on my #tbr for a while, I will have to move it up on the list ☺ 3y
77 likes2 comments
review
AshleyHoss820
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Pickpick

Quite possibly one of the best love stories I've ever read. Two boys, discovering who they are during a time of war and unrest. I'm not above letting you know that I cried. Absolutely worth the read. 90/1,001 #1001Books

2 likes1 stack add
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Yamich49
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Pickpick

O'Neill is a masterful storyteller & this m/m coming of age story of two Irish boys growing up & falling in love was wonderful. Fantastic hist. fiction - O'Neill quite successfully transports the reader to Ireland around the Easter Rebellion of 1916. In addition to witnessing these boys grow up & find each other, we get to experience the tension between the Irish & the English & the growth of a rebellion that divides families and communities. 💗

67 likes8 stack adds
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Yamich49
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill

"Help these boys build a nation their own. Ransack the histories for clues to their past. Plunder the literatures for words they can speak. And should you encounter an ancient tribe whose customs, however dimly, cast light on their hearts, tell them that tale; and you shall name the unspeakable names of your kind, and in that naming, in each such telling, they will falter a step to the light."

? Loving this book!

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Yamich49
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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We don't get a lot of snow on the Valley floor here but today is a perfect day for snuggling in bed and starting this book! ❤ this view! It would be a little more perfect if the power hadn't been out since 8 this morning 🙄and if I didn't have a killer cold. But I'll take what I can get I guess. 😜

8little_paws Where you live looks very pretty! 3y
brilliantglow Beautiful shot! Hopefully your power gets restored soon 3y
Reviewsbylola That's crappy about your power. Hopefully it's back on! 3y
Zelma Yuck! I have the same thing going on here minus the snow. Doesn't make for a fun, relaxing evening. 3y
57 likes4 comments
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Yamich49
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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My book outlet Black Friday order finally came in! These are some great #queerreads and #queerauthors to add to my collection. 🌈

Megabooks Fans of the Impossible Life is great! 3y
Yamich49 @Ebooksandcooks Good to hear! It's been on my TBR for a while and I had to snag it when I saw it on Bookoutlet! 3y
CherylDeFranceschi ❤️Weetzie! 3y
45 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Onioons
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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"I reckon if we worked at it hard, every morning, say, we worked on your stroke, before I went to work, before you went to college, out to the raft here and back while the raft is out, every day we'd do it, rain or shine, till you find your feet, or your fins I should say, I reckon come Easter next we'd swim out there together, and I'll show you the place and you'd know, I don't know, what I meant like" #booksbythesea #somethingforsept #easter1916

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Love this book! It was difficult, but worth it 3y
Bibliogeekery Love this one! #queerbooks 3y
RealLifeReading Lovely 3y
29 likes3 comments
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Bibliogeekery
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Glad Day Bookshop is a wonderful independent bookstore in Toronto that specializes in LGBTTIQ books. It's been open since 1970. #getindie #queerbooks

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled And this book! What cheer, eh? 3y
82 likes2 comments
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Onioons
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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#Tbt Then the lad's gaze lifted and he saw Jim watching from above. His eyes were dark as night, not dull, but gemmily shining. The smile broadened as though in invitation, as though the rocky shore and the birds and the blue were his to share.
"What cheer, eh? he called.
Jim found himself smiling back. And long after, while he scorched down Glasthule Road, well late for school, he was smiling still. #truegem was reading this 3 years ago today

MrBook Nice stack! 3y
Bibliogeekery Love that book! ❤️ 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Love that book. Sigh! 😍 3y
21 likes3 comments
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Javennall
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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All love does ever rightly show humanity our tenderness

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Onioons
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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When we swim out there we'll bring a flag to raise. We'll raise the Green and claim the Muglins for Ireland. Then finally the ghosts of Gidley and MacKinley, bold patriots them both, will go to rest.