‘I sit on the stone that will mark the bed of my bones. You’ll find the used-to-be-me, soon, flat body, washed up, wrinkly skin. No silly grin. You’ll say, What a waste of a life. Tut-tut sounds jump out. Dangle like worms from your crow’s mouth …’
Meet Daft Matt, the Mayo man at the heart of this astonishing, form-bending story, as he wanders the streets of Castlebar in search of Devil’s feet – the claw marks of the cÃ¡ga, or jackdaws, who have spoken to him since he was a boy.
Yet Matt is anything but daft. In lyrical prose, Walsh Donnelly explores the complex workings of Matt’s inner life: how he deals with the loss of his twin brother as a child, navigates the carefree days of early manhood and copes with the aftermath of the horse-riding accident that would see him incarcerated in the care system for the next thirty years. Richly imagined and beautifully written, this is a story for anyone who chooses to look beyond the surface of things.
‘I used to think those claws were the only things that kept me above sea-level.’