The Abode of Fancy

By: Sam Coll

Publication Date: 1 April 2017


The Abode of Fancy is a wildly imaginative addition to the enduring legacy of Irish comic literature, in the spirit of Jonathan Swift, James Stephens and Flann O’Brien. Cosmic and intimate, sentimental and acerbic, harebrained and profound, it is a masterpiece of invention.

We Irish are a shallow people, albeit perversely fair perhaps, as cruel to others as to ourselves, treasuring the unconsummated and the failed, making shallow friendships founded on fatuous fun that runs so cold in the bitter end, backbiting and bitching and kicking our enemies when they are down, snide wiseguys who refuse to acknowledge the depths, emotional retards embarrassed by awkward topics away from which we shy, making nothing but a mess of our feelings, those horrid truths we would prefer to edit than be undone, to find the latent fun embedded in the torment, and make lukewarm comedies from the hash of our life’s little disasters.’

Heartbreaking and hilarious, Coll’s novel fuses reality and fantasy in an extraordinary narrative. This astonishing mosaic of characters and images, of memories and prophecies, propels the reader into a world that reaches far beyond the printed page.

In modern-day Dublin, Simeon, a melancholy student, is tormented by unrequited love, jealousy and loneliness. He seeks solace in the company of his father’s friends, a disparate group of world-weary alcoholics, and through them glimpses a grim picture of his own probable future life.

A parallel tale follows mythical man-god The Mad Monk on his return to Ireland, seeking out the ghost of his long dead brother. As these two worlds intertwine, the author delivers a powerful meditation on the impossibility of love and the consolations of friendship.

‘Wildly funny … a huge, mad gem.’—Donal Ryan

‘A hugely impressive linguistic feat.’ The Irish Times

‘An all-embracing debut.’ The Guardian


Sam Coll was born in 1989, in Dublin, Ireland. He graduated in English and Art History from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 and later obtained a Masters degree in Anglo-Irish literature, writing his dissertation on Samuel Beckett and sentimentality. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and co-founded the Spoonlight Theatre Group, performing in their productions of Finnegans Wake and Heartbreak House, and can be found on YouTube doing spoken word performance.






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Weight 0.9 kg
Dimensions 50 × 156 × 234 mm
Publication Date

1 April 2017


Paperback 496pp

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