Welcome to the Sunday Story Society discussion of Kevin Barry’s “Atlantic City“. If you’ve not seen one of these before, I always start with a round-up of some online commentary, before opening the comments up to you.
As far as I’ve seen, responses to “Atlantic City” have been overwhelmingly positive – like this one, from Daragh Reddin in Metro:
In…’Atlantic City’ – the languid atmosphere of a sultry summer night in a non-descript midlands town is perfectly evoked. Barry’s dialogue here is suitably sure-footed and he demonstrates a deft hand in capturing the unrealised aspirations of his characters.
Peter McClean praised the story’s sense of place:
[“Atlantic City”] captures the very essence of its location; it portrays the characters in a vivid reality; it uses the real language of the people involved.
For Rob Burdock, Barry turned the ordinary into something more:
The main ‘star’ of this story is James, a lad who would be considered unremarkable in almost any other setting. Yet in this ramshackle arcade – which in itself can be best described as ordinary and plain – James stands on a pedestal as a god among men (and women), and Barry exalts him magnificently.
There are also further positive write-ups of “Atlantic City” and its collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, from Mel u; Andrew of Slightly Read; Elaine Chiew for The Short Review; Rozz Lewis; and Marc Goldin for Laura Hird’s New Review.
So, how did you find “Atlantic City”?