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Nobber: 'A bloody and brilliant first novel'

Oisin Fagan

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A wildly inventive and audacious debut novel from the author of HOSTAGES

'A writer out to do whatever the hell he wants . . . a grisly, gross-out slice of medieval life and death, it's vigorously, writhingly itself, spilling out of any box you put it in' Observer

'A dark and bloody tale, well leavened with bone-dry humour, and with a dramatic climax that has about it the flavour of a Jacobean tragedy' Guardian

'Set to become an Irish cult classic' Sunday Business Post

An ambitious noble and his three serving men travel through the Irish countryside in the stifling summer of 1348, using the advantage of the plague which has collapsed society to buy up large swathes of property and land. They come upon Nobber, a tiny town, whose only living habitants seem to be an egotistical bureaucrat, his volatile wife, a naked blacksmith, and a beautiful Gaelic hostage. Meanwhile, a band of marauding Gaels are roaming around, using the confusion of the sickness to pillage and reclaim lands that once belonged to them.

As these groups converge upon the town, the habitants, who up until this point have been under strict curfew, begin to stir from their dwellings, demanding answers from the intruders. A deadly stand-off emerges from which no one will escape unscathed.

'Nobber is hallucinatory and sly, conjuring a densely strange and savagely captivating world. There are lots of novels, and there are lots of novels that are all much alike, but there is nothing like Nobber' Colin Barrett

'A skilled storyteller with a rich command of language and rare comedic flair' Irish Times

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Praise for Nobber: 'A bloody and brilliant first novel'

  • Nobber is hallucinatory and sly, conjuring a densely strange and savagely captivating world. There are lots of novels, and there are lots of novels that are all much alike, but there is nothing like Nobber - Colin Barrett

  • Amid a strange, dark tale come glimpses of a striking new talent . . . gives us plenty of glimpses of Fagan's literary talent - The Times

  • A highly anticipated debut - RTE Guide

  • Pestilence, the Black Death and comedy combine to bemusing and occasionally potent effect in this debut novel from the rising star of Oisin Fagan . . . Nobber is a lively and mischievous work that does a wonderful job of painting pictures for us of abject horror and suffering right before turning them over on to their backs to reveal soft comedic underbellies - Irish Independent

  • Utterly original, yet reminiscent of Flann O'Brien or Eimar O'Duffy. Nobber is the work of a fierce imagination and an even fiercer pen - Meath Chronicle

  • A writer out to do whatever the hell he wants . . . a grisly, gross-out slice of medieval life and death, it's vigorously, writhingly itself, spilling out of any box you put it in - Observer

  • All tremendously good fun: if noir whimsy and highfalutin' bawdiness are your thing, you will find a chortle-worthy moment on every couple of pages . . . As a work of narrative fiction resembling a cross between a medieval picaresque, a children's adventure story and one of the 'historical' Carry On films, Nobber occupies the intersection of a Venn diagram nobody even knew existed. Fagan is a skilled storyteller with a rich command of language and rare comedic flair - Irish Times

  • A bloody and brilliant first novel . . . a dark and bloody tale, well leavened with bone-dry humour, and with a dramatic climax that has about it the flavour of a Jacobean tragedy - Guardian

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Oisin Fagan

Oisin Fagan has had short fiction published in the Stinging Fly and the anthology Young Irelanders, with work featured in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In 2016, he won the inaugural Penny Dreadful Novella Prize for The Hierophants. Hostages, his first collection, was published in 2016. He is a recipient of the 2016 and the 2018 Literature Bursary Award from the Arts Council of Ireland.

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