The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2019
Advent / Christmas Calendar
Paperback: Biblioasis, 2019
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Of Original Prin, “I have written a good-bad Catholic novel,” says Boyagoda, who, not surprisingly, lists both Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh as the fathers of the literary type. In their mid-20th century novels centered on good/bad Catholic protagonists, grace sneaks into a man’s heart through the unworthy vessels of sin and despair. That would make Prin Boyagoda’s Guy Crouchback or perhaps his whiskey priest. Because Original Prin is the first volume in a planned trilogy, we don’t yet know where Prin is going. Still, Boyagoda’s first volume takes us into deep water. Seeking grace in a dalliance with nothingness is a bold beginning, an act both of homage and of parody with respect to Boyagoda’s canonical predecessors. It’s an odd thing, an affair without purpose: no night of flesh to haunt Prin’s memory as he returns coldly to Molly. His heart waffles, not between Molly and Wende but between God and nothing.
- from Michael Toscano’s review of this book
in our Fall 2019 magazine issue
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