"This book is majestic and squalid at the same time, as if the Bible were actually about Elvis. The rhythms and music carry you like a baby on a raft on the river, but it's the precision of the words that cinches you."—Richard Hell, author of I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp
"A passionate dream of a book. Dazzling, but lucid—as though Flannery O'Connor had gone back to the Ireland of her forebears to write a novel."—Peter Behrens, author of The Law of Dreams
A small Irish town. A river flood. The return of a prodigal son. On the banks of the river Rua, when the rains have stopped and the waters receded, nine bodies are found. What took them to the river?
Enoch O’Reilly, a self-made preacher and Elvis impersonator claiming to be just returned to Ireland from America, launches a radio show Revival Hour. It enjoys a short but spectacular run, and its disastrous end forces Enoch back to the family home. There he finds clues to a mythic connection between the dead—this brotherhood of the flood—the natural rhythms of the earth, a secret language called riverish, and his lost father.
Conjuring together various traditions—gothic, Irish, Southern, musical, poetic, our deep connections to stories, to our homelands, and to nature—Peter Murphy establishes himself as one of Ireland’s literary wonders.
"A wild and inventive butt-kicker, but also strangely tender, and the language is charged, vivid, luminous."—Kevin Barry, author of City of Bohane
"Murphy can write like an angel, [but] his gaze is mischievous."— Irish Times