TagAtlantic City

Sunday Story Society: “Atlantic City”

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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”?

Sunday Story Society Reminder: “Atlantic City”

Sunday Story Society time is coming around again; this week, we’ll be talking about “Atlantic City” by Kevin Barry. The story is available to download here as a PDF from Thresholds, the University of Chichester’s International Short Story Forum.

“Atlantic City” is taken from Kevin Barry’s first collection, There Are Little Kingdoms (2007), which won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Barry has since published a novel, City of Bohane (2011); and a second collection, Dark Lies the Island (2012). One of the stories from the latter, “Beer Trip to Llandudno”, won the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.

Head back here on Sunday, when we’ll compare notes on “Atlantic City”.

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