Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín - review by Sam Leith

Sam Leith

Oceans Apart



Viking 261pp £17.99

I was carrying my proof copy of Brooklyn at a party the other day. An acquaintance who works in the book world noticed it and asked: ‘Is it very moving?’ I had to think for a moment. I was then halfway through. ‘No,’ I ended up replying. ‘It’s not moving. Not yet. It’s more just … precise.’ 

I’ve now finished it, and to my interlocutor, if they are reading this, I can add: ‘Yes. It’s very moving.’ But it gathers its power through the precision of its telling. What with Tóibín having recently come within a whisker of winning the Man Booker Prize for a

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