The Little Red Chairs

The Little Red Chairs

Book - 2016
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When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this astonishing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequences of that fatal attraction. The Little Red Chairs is a story about love, the artifice of evil, and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. A narrative which dares to travel deep into the darkness has produced a book of enormous emotional intelligence and courage. Written with a fierce lyricism and sensibility, The Little Red Chairs dares to suggest there is a way back to redemption and hope when great evil is done. Almost six decades on from her debut, Edna O'Brien has produced what may be her masterpiece in the novel form.
Publisher: New York : Little Brown and Company, 2016
Edition: First North American edition
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780316378239
Characteristics: 299 pages ; 25 cm
Call Number: OBRIEN, E


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Jun 16, 2019

I actually bought it long back, still have it, must have read it too.

Jul 26, 2017

It hit me with not only a wow, but a WOW, WOW! A true masterpiece, high-lighting a war I only vaguely knew about but now find entombed in my brain by the very way she illuminated the flashes of the dark turns of that war I'm almost finished with the book but had to jump up to see what else she has written and reserve more of her books. To those who put the book down unable to read it, I was not captured by it until page 59 when the full beauty and force hit me like a two by four over the head. Keep reading, the style will grow on you and it's definitely worth the trouble and time to mine it.

Jan 24, 2017

A reference to the 11,541 red chairs laid out in Sarajevo to commemorate those killed during the siege. I'm at loss for what to say about Ms. O'Brien's memorable novel. It is a difficult book to read written in sublime prose contemplating the reverberations of evil acts where the innocent suffer disproportionate consequences for their naivete. Not for the faint of heart.

Jan 04, 2017

An incredible book at so many levels. I have such gratitude for having a book to read that illuminates refugee life with realism and as an integral part of the plot. I will always cherish this book. My first O'Brien. No wonder Phillip Roth was jealous.

Jan 04, 2017

This novel was inspired by the court case of Radovan Karadzic, a Serbian nationalist who also pretended to be a healer to avoid capture. He was eventually caught and delivered to The
I enjoyed her short stories more than this book though. I found it gruesome at times.

Dec 07, 2016

Fidelma spends one fated night with the stranger who appears as a natural healer in a restless Irish village, and she suffers a painful torture, when he is captured as the mastermind of the genocide in the war in Yugoslavia. The novel shifts points of view among the two of them and the people around them, in a beautiful, sometimes fabulist, exploration of individual and historic quest. The scene and narration breaks are not only genre bending at its best, but give the novel a great cinematic feel.

Aug 30, 2016

Excellent read from a beloved author. Really enjoyed the character development and surprising interweave with history. Would heartily recommend.

Aug 17, 2016

A difficult read - as the author tends to move in many directions. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, including Fidelma - they were vague and remote.

Jul 27, 2016

Good storytelling about a small Irish town full of interesting characters and one mysterious stranger. It took me a while to suspect the story's connection to the chairs of the title and epigraph. Then came horror and unwilling fascination as the story played out. The author gives voices to some of the victims of our 21st-century atrocities, and as is so often the case, this work of fiction reveals profound truths that we can't always glean from non-fiction accounts. My only problem is that we don't have a strong connection with any character, not even the main one who weaves the different voices together. Still, an excellent novel.

JCLMELODYK Jul 18, 2016

This is my first Edna O'Brien novel and it won't be my last. If you like Constellation of Vital Phenomena this is a great follow up.

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