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Thursday, April 05, 2018

In the Forest (2002) by Edna O'Brien


Book Review
In the Forest (2002)
by Edna O'Brien

   Edna O'Brien is still active- she released a novel in 2015. Her career as a novelist of note extends back to very first novel, Country Girls, published in 1960 and except for the 1980's, where she only published one novel in the entire decade, she has been good for about 3 or 4 books a decade ever since.  As In the Forest can testify, she is still relevant, nothing dated about Edna O'Brien.

 In the Forest is commonly called her "true crime" book, based on the real life exploits of the so-called kinderschreck, a disturbed young man who murdered three people in rural Ireland in the 1990's.  The series of homicides is called the Cregg Wood murders, the perpetrator, Brendan O'Donnell, died in prison in 1996,  I gather that the idea that an author would do this: base a book on recent true crime events, caused a minor furor in O'Brien's native Ireland- old hat for O'Brien who is likely the last Irish author to have her books burned in public for their supposed indecency. 

  Like other of O'Brien's catalog, it's not the subject per se which grabs you, but the execution.  Articles about O'Brien often reference her friendship with Phillip Roth- who seems similar in terms of career longevity and ability to evoke controversy. 

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