The eponymous city of Bohane, also known as ‘the creation,’ is the imaginary city in which Barry’s novel takes place, later even than Claire Kilroy’s novel, between the autumn of 2053 and the summer of 2054. Because Kevin Barry1 was taking a holiday in Porto when he rst began to write the book, the city layout is based on the map of Porto, although it is in fact situated in the West of Ireland. Bohane, which means ‘little dwelling place’2 in Irish, is a paradoxical place, at once futuristic, neo-western and more retro-oriented than techno-oriented, since the characters use none of the technology that characterizes the beginning of the twenty-rst century. As Barry has indicated,3 the novel is imbued with what he calls the Portuguese saudade, a local form of nostalgia and sentimentality, a keen sense of time and of what has been lost. Apart from a paper by Meabh Long on the notion of melancholia in City of Bohane,4 little has been written as yet on City of Bohane outside a few reviews in literary magazines, and Barry’s own interviews about his debut novel. But all commentators, and the author himself, stress the highly inventive streak of this rst novel, what Barry describes as ‘technicolor,’5 stressing the inuence of Anthony Burgess, Cormac McCarthy and James Joyce, while also claiming the inuence of ‘TV shows like Deadwood and The Wire, movies like The Wanderers or West Side Story, or comics like the Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets series,’ as well as anything in ‘the ripe inheritance of Irish literature.’6 Barry makes no secret of the fact that the structure of the narrative has been ‘shamelessly pilfered from the better HBO shows.’7 Written in 2008, Barry claimed that in City of Bohane he imagined what Ireland had become in the middle of the twenty-rst century, using an eclectic tragicomic tone, offering his readers a brand new literary experience. Given this explicitly innovative double aim, it appears as blatantly paradoxical therefore, that the novel should be situated in the West of Ireland and imbued with nostalgia and a sense of loss, two highly traditional elements in Irish literature which could hardly be deemed as new. As Kevin Barry explains,

Bohane is a malevolent, evil, murderous, triple-crossing, and very sexy place. It is full of vicious killers and hoods and rogues, and I adore

them all. The story is written in technicolour. It is of a gang leader coming to the end of his reign, and the succession battle that brews among his scheming ranks. There’s a sweaty love triangle thrown in for good measure. It is a weird kind of neo-Western-all of its characters conform to classic Western archetypes. It is intended as a visceral and innovative piece of literature but also as a grand entertainment. It is antirealist. It’s built for kicks. It is, perhaps most importantly, a comedy. It is written for anyone who wants to open a book and nd a truly lurid good time, but it’s written in the high style, too. I hope that it is like nothing you have read before, but that on every page you will experience the weird lurch of déjà vu; that saudade again. Its language is in many ways a new-formed tongue, but is built on strong rhythmic lines, and this is a book that is fun to read aloud.8