Meet Charlie. People think he's crazy. But he's not. People think he's stupid. But he's not. People think he's innocent...He's the Gamal. Charlie has a story to tell, about his best friends Sinead and James and the bad things that happened. But he can't tell it yet, at least not till he's worked out where the beginning is. Because is the beginning long ago when Sinead first spoke up for him after Charlie got in trouble at school for the millionth time? Or was it later, when Sinead and James followed the music and found each other? Or was it later still on that terrible night when something unspeakable happened after closing time and someone chose to turn a blind eye? Charlie has promised Dr Quinn he'll write 1,000 words a day, but it's hard to know which words to write. And which secrets to tell...This is the story of the dark heart of an Irish village, of how daring to be different can be dangerous and how there is nothing a person will not do for love. Exhilarating, bitingly funny and unforgettably poignant, this is a story like no other. This is the story of the Gamal.
A gritty, modern Romeo and Juliet told by a compelling and original voice * Independent * Astonishing. Inventive. Playful. Unique. A novel to savour. Ciaran Collins is the real deal * Colum McCann * An unforgettable narrator * John Boyne * He is a tremendous storyteller ... He exists somewhere in a literary territory between Patrick McCabe and Roddy Doyle ... A cracking debut, as moving as it is entertaining * New York Times * I can't remember the last time a book made me honk with laughter, only to force me to get off the tube early with tears streaming down my face fifty pages later * Evie Wyld, Flavorwire * A magnificent literary debut ... By a writer of extraordinary talent * Sunday Independent (Ireland) * He is a tremendous storyteller ... The Gamal sprawls to more than 450 pages, but the unflagging ingenuity of Ciaran Collins's writing justifies its length. He exists somewhere in a literary territory between Patrick McCabe and Roddy Doyle, but he is very much his own man and this is a cracking debut, as moving as it is entertaining * Independent on Sunday *