I love Barry's lyricism. He is unique among contemporary Irish writer's in that you can clearly see (feel) the thread of tradition penetrating his novels. Echoes of John Millington Synge, Yeats, and even Beckett are present here. But the novels are no mere copies of the old style. They hum with their own clear voice and vision. This novel touches upon events from Barry's first novel, "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty." Both can be read independently, but there is a richness in having read both.