Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Mini-Review of the Novel, "The River and Enoch O'Reilly" by Peter Murphy

Irish writers often have a tendency to dip back into the pagan roots of the old sod and to come up with tales that are gripping and chilling.  Peter Murphy has done this in his novel, "The River and Enoch O'Reilly."  Enoch is the lonely son of a gifted Wold War II radio technician whom the locals around Ballo Manor compare with Marconi.  After he catches young Enoch spying on his special radio equipment, the father soon disappears.  Young Enoch has heard a mystical broadcast of the Revival Hour, and feels a call to spread the evangelistic message.

His travels take him to America, where he studies the style and content of the best of the fire and brimstone preachers while becoming enthralled by the King, Elvis Presley.  Upon the King's death, Enoch returns home to the town of Murn wearing mourning attire  He pursues joint careers as radio preacher, Elvis impersonator and all around mystic.  He is drawn often to the banks of the mysterious babbling River Rua, which floods with predictable regularity and induces certain of the townsfolk to thrown themselves into the foaming rapids.  Strong and strange forces are at work here.

This well written tale combines Biblical imagery with Druid folklore and mythology as only a Murphy could do!  It is a very satisfying read.



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