THE FAR SIDE OF HAPPINESS by Gerry Boland
Sixteen stories, sixteen intriguing situations and a fascinating cast of characters from poet and author, Gerry Boland. An unemployed man, living alone, experiences a brief moment of epiphany only for his fragile optimism to be shattered by a freak accident. A seemingly straightforward story about a marriage in trouble conceals a devastating and unexpected deceit, revealed in its final lines. An Irish bachelor living in Paris has his life of entitlement turned upside-down by two simultaneous though unrelated events. An environmentalist brings her naïve idealism to a rural, coastal community and hopelessly misreads the town’s mood. The story that closes this first collection seems autobiographical, as the author walks the reader into his past, where some of his ghosts return to unsettle him.
Our unhappiness session took us into the early part of the night. The sounds coming up from the street had changed. There were more cars, commuters returning home from work. It had begun to drizzle, and the noise of the wet tyres was a long, continuous, sibilant whish. Neither of us suggested turning on a light. The room, dark now, was invaded by shadows and twinkles and sudden, startling flashes from the headlights of cars swinging left at the corner of Waterloo Road. Occasionally, I thought of Gina Traynor, and how her loneliness and her unhappiness had acted like a magnet for me in school, how it had kept my own depression company. And not just in school. Later, too. It was really hard for me to think about Gina.
[from Begin With Loneliness]
The book retails at €15 and is available in Longford (Newsround), Roscommon (Newsround), Boyle (Unabhan + Boyle Motor Works), Carrick (The Reading Room), Sligo (Liber Bookshop), Dublin (Hodges Figgis + Books Upstairs). It’s also available online at kennys.ie and bookdepository.com