Simon Baker

Love On The Run

This is the Country


Sceptre 272pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

In a way, the narrator of William Wall’s This is the Country is blessed. Before meeting Jacintha, he lives a squalid life of omnivorous drug-use on the fringes of the criminal underclass in an Irish city. His existence is a hellish fugue, with months meandering into each other, bringing nothing but self-loathing and oblivion. Jacintha finally gives him a purpose; he cleans up, gets a trade, and falls for the comforting allure of domesticity.

Unfortunately, though, Jacintha is the younger sister of Pat the Baker, a local gangster. When the narrator gets her pregnant, his legs are broken as a punishment. He retaliates by attacking The Baker with a chain, and has to flee to the countryside,

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter