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New Island publishes some of the best fiction written in Ireland. From literary fiction and short stories, to chilling crime, you’ll always find a book to transport you.

The Cards of the Gambler

The Cards of the Gambler

10.99

by Benedict Kiely

Based on a folk-tale from West Donegal, this is a timeless story of a gambler's soul, and a universal tale of the search for forgiveness, peace and lost innocence.

B-format, paperback | 224pp | ISBN: 978-1-84840-082-5 | Release Date: August 2010

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The stage is set for the telling of a story... A Dublin doctor, ruined by alcohol and card-playing, is sent to find a priest to baptise his newborn son. In a seedy lounge bar, he comes across a strange party of men accompanied by a handsome, golden-haired priest who introduces himself as God. Later the same day, in another bar, he meets a vulgar little 'contact man', carrying a briefcase and wearing rings of solid gold, who announces that he is Death. God allows the gambler three requests, two of which enable him to live a prosperous, if somewhat empty, life, and the third of which he can use to cheat Death. Based on a folk-tale from West Donegal, this is a timeless story of a gambler's soul, and a universal tale of the search for forgiveness, peace and lost innocence.

Reviews

Benedict Kiely is the Irish Balzac.
— Heinrich Böll
A striking talent
— The Tablet
Broad and subtle humour, considerable terror, satire and a pathos that comes cleanly and sweetly, are all here.
— Irish Press
An astonishing book...What is uniquely Kiely’s, his thumbprint, is his easy mastery of the lyrical, and the feeling of felt life, felt experience, just beneath the surface of his prose.
— Thomas Flanagan