Cornelius Conlon has been forever growing old. Born at the turn of the 20th century, he has lived through a lifetime of madness, and now must witness his towns demise. He preaches, writes, loves and obsesses – of the darkness of the tunnels, of the dangers of the Folly, of the weather – but few pay heed. Deeply frustrated, his daughter, Lily, worries for him, but to many in Poulnabrone, he is simply, Con 'The Loon,' the man who stands on his soap box by the church, his face a cloud of beard and prognostication, his cane pointing as he delivers a sermon.
Poulnabrone is decaying, its walls riven with cracks and mould, its streets punctured and torn. Young Malachy understands, but his mind is as fractured as the streets of the town, and greater forces are at play. The bonds of history are the walls of a river; fraying and broken, loose beneath the earth. An absurd demise beckons.
At once both melancholic and magical, The Absurd Demise of Poulnabrone is the debut novel of author Liam Howley. Part comedy, part elegy, and often hallucinatory, it is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the predicaments of our times.