Green Glowing Skull

Gavin Corbett

After fleeing his dying parents and the drudgery of work in Dublin for the Manhattan of his imagination – a place of romance and opulence, dark old concert halls and mellow front parlours quieted by the hiss of the phonograph cylinder – Rickard Velily hopes to be reborn as an Irish tenor, and to one day be reunited with the love of his life.

At the very peculiar Cha Bum Kun Club, a masonic-style refuge for immigrants who can’t quite cut it in New York City, he meets Denny Kennedy-Logan and Clive Sullis, and a plan is enacted: to revive the art songs and ballads of another time for a hip young city in thrall to technology and money.

But that is without reckoning on meddlesome sprites, the phantoms of the past – and more malign forces who plot to subjugate the human race.

Green Glowing Skull is a half-crazed brain-shunt of a trip around the spirit world, the cyber world and a woozily recognisable real world – a darkly comic tale of mythologies, machines and the metaphysical swirl.

Reviews of Green Glowing Skull

  • ‘Deeply strange – and strangely deep. This is a book in which heads explode, people return from the dead, fish talk, pantomime cows are severed in two, and in which the reader will encounter page after page of unforgettable, resonant and sometimes moving prose…One of the most refreshing novelists writing today’ Guardian

    ‘Joyfully bizarre… A fast-paced picaresque frenzy … An intoxicating portrait of a gleaming almost robotically energized city … The narrative is peppered with deranged disguises and wild chases, a supernatural element and descents into the realm of the soul … Exuberant and unapologetically experimental, teeming with rich verbal games’ Francesca Wade, TLS

    ‘It is a blizzard of imaginative energy … The prose sings on every page, sometimes loudly, with silly song titles and arch dialogue, but often by seducing the reader – confidence is an attractive quality – while it slips its strangeness in … Its ebullient charm makes it very hard to resist.’ Irish Times

    ‘A description of this novel’s set-up makes it sound like something by P G Wodehouse but this is Wodehouse filtered through steam punk and Spike Jonze and infused, too, with the strange magic of old Ireland … Corbett’s imaginative energy can’t be doubted’ New Statesman

    Praise for THIS IS THE WAY

    ‘A wonderful new voice’ Joseph O’Neill, author of ‘Netherland’

    ‘A curious and delightful confection … A memorable work from a gifted writer whose next moves we should await with very keen interest’ Kevin Barry, Guardian

    ‘A troubling, mysterious, demanding and beautiful book, narrated in a voice unlike any I have encountered in fiction. Corbett knows what he’s doing: every sentence throbs with power’ Emma Donoghue, author of ‘Room’

    ‘A unique and extraordinary voice’ Daily Mail

    ‘Hard to forget … It’s a timely reminder that while fiction may not change things in the real world, it does offer us new ways to dream’ Irish Times