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Colum McCann’s APEIROGON

Updated: Feb 25

“Apeirogon: a shape with a countably infinite number of sides.”



Colum McCann is one of my favourite writers. From the amazing Let The Great World Spin to the brilliant This Side of Brightness and the incredible Dancer; every novel he has written is dazzlingly original in almost every element; the structure, the narrative, the shift in time and perspective. Colum McCann takes all the brilliance he is known for and takes it to a whole new level with his latest novel, Apeirogon.


The novel centres on two men, although centres is definitely the wrong word. Both men are fathers. Both men have lost their daughters. Rami Elhanan lost his daughter Smadar in a suicide bombing. Bassam Aramin lost his his daughter to a rubber bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. Both men become not only united by their grief but united in their desire to bring peace to a region that seems determined to stay divided and at war with each other and itself.


Rami and Bassam lose their daughters ten years apart but through Colum McCann’s unique structure for this novel both stories unfold together. McCann carefully weaves each story together, each life, each tragedy. Through these two narratives he then builds more layers; a history of the Israeli State, the genocide of the Second World War and its legacy and the flight patterns of birds. Each layer builds until the novel reaches its peak and then the layers are steadily stripped back down again as the book turns back towards its end.


This is an immensely powerful novel. You will not be the same reader when you finish the book that you were when you started reading it. A novel’s whose scale and magnitude no review can do proper justice to. A masterwork by a master writer that needs to be read to be believed and will become one of the literary classics of 2020.




Title: Apeirogon

Author: Colum McCann

Publisher: Bloomsbury

ISBN: 9781526607911

Format: PaperBack

Category: General Fiction

Publication Date: 26/02/2020

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