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In this, his first short story collection, John Boyne examines the human condition in some of his finest writing to date.

In this collection of twelve dark, unerring and surprising short stories, John Boyne explores the extremities of the human condition in all its brilliance and brutality. The secrets we keep and the ways in which they shape us, the impossibility of shared loss, the lengths we will go to in order to protect our families and the distance we will run to protect ourselves.


Drawing on a host of enthralling characters – a farmer, a cuckold and a teenager exploring his sexuality; good parents, bad parents, writers and soldiers; a student, a rent boy and a hitman – Boyne examines the hopeful and the damaged without prejudice or judgement.


This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne’s finest writing to date. It includes ‘Rest Day’ which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.

Reviews

The best of the best . . . These revealing stories, unfolding like intimate confessions, will twist your heart.

Daily Mail

Boyne offers writing of insight and beauty that elevates this collection to impressive heights indeed, and confirms him as one of Ireland's finest contemporary writers

Observer

Boyne has achieved a careful authenticity . . . Beneath the Earth is a satisfying and polished set of short stories with definite longevity and immense global appeal.

Irish Independent

[Beneath the Earth] tracks the light and dark of Ireland’s past and present . . . Boyne is particularly strong on dramatising child and teen sensibilities but here we see how the badness of adults spills over and infects these damaged children.

Independent

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Formats & editions

Also by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
A History of Loneliness
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
This House is Haunted
Next of Kin
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
Crippen
The Absolutist
The Congress of Rough Riders
The Thief of Time
Noah Barleywater Runs Away
The House of Special Purpose
Mutiny On The Bounty
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Voyager
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Men Without Women
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Paris For One And Other Stories
The Girls
Six Bedrooms
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
The Trip of a Lifetime