The Greatest Irish, Unknown "Fiction" Books Since 2000

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 268 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. The Master by Colm Tóibín

    "The Master" is a fictionalized biography of the renowned author Henry James, chronicling his life from 1895 to 1899. The narrative delves into James' personal life, his relationships, and his struggles with his craft. The book reveals his inner thoughts and feelings, his unfulfilled desires, and his deep-seated fears. It also explores his relationships with his family, friends, and some of the most prominent figures of his time. The narrative is a deep, introspective exploration of a complex, introverted character, and the world in which he lived.

  2. 2. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

    A 12-year-old genius and criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short, for a large ransom of gold with the help of his bodyguard, Butler, to restore his family's fortune. In the process, he discovers an underground world of armed and dangerous fairies. The fairies fight back with magic, cunning, and technological weapons leading to a high-stakes battle of wits.

  3. 3. William Trevor: The Collected Stories by William Trevor

    This collection brings together numerous short stories from a renowned author, demonstrating his masterful storytelling ability. The stories span a variety of themes and settings, often focusing on the complexities of human relationships and the subtle nuances of everyday life. The author's keen eye for detail and ability to capture the human condition in his works have earned him a place among the greatest short story writers.

  4. 4. Room by Emma Donoghue

    "Room" by Emma Donoghue is a novel about a young woman named Ma who has been held captive in a small room for seven years with her five-year-old son Jack. The story is told from Jack's point of view as he struggles to understand the world outside of Room and adjust to life after their escape. The novel explores themes of resilience, trauma, and the power of love and imagination.

  5. 5. The Sea by John Banville

    "The Sea" is a profound exploration of memory, grief, and loss. The novel follows the story of a widower who returns to a seaside town where he spent his childhood summers. His present-day experiences are interwoven with memories of a transformative event from his youth involving a wealthy family he befriended. As he grapples with the loss of his wife to cancer, he also deals with the haunting memories of the past. The narrative is a deep dive into the human psyche, exploring themes of love, loss, and the fluidity of time.

  6. 6. The Gathering by Anne Enright

    "The Gathering" is a powerful and evocative family saga set in Ireland, exploring the complex dynamics of a large Irish family following the suicide of one of the siblings. The story is narrated by Veronica, the sister of the deceased, who delves into her family's past, uncovering a traumatic event that has shaped their lives. The narrative is a mix of present events, childhood memories, and imagined scenarios, all of which contribute to a profound exploration of memory, truth, and the bonds of family.

  7. 7. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

    The novel tells the story of a young Irish woman, Eilis Lacey, in the 1950s who, unable to find work at home, is sent to Brooklyn by a helpful priest where she builds a new life. She finds work, studies to become a bookkeeper, and falls in love with an Italian plumber named Tony. However, a family tragedy forces her to return to Ireland, where she must choose between her new life in America and her old life at home.

  8. 8. Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

    "Netherland" is a post-9/11 novel set in New York City, which explores the life of a Dutch banker named Hans. After his wife and son move back to London, Hans becomes immersed in the world of cricket, where he befriends a charismatic Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon who dreams of building a cricket stadium in the city. The novel is a meditation on the American Dream, identity, and the immigrant experience, all set against the backdrop of a city and a country grappling with a new reality.

  9. 9. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

    This novel follows the story of a young boy who moves from Berlin to a house near a concentration camp during World War II. Unaware of the grim reality of his surroundings, he befriends another boy on the other side of the camp fence. The two develop a deep friendship despite the horrific circumstances, leading to a devastating and unforgettable ending.

  10. 10. City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

    Set in the year 2053, the book is a dystopian tale about the city of Bohane, a place filled with vice, violence, and tribal warfare. The city is controlled by a gangster named Logan Hartnett, who is challenged by his estranged wife Macu and her lover, a rival gang leader. The narrative is filled with colorful characters, rich language, and a unique blend of futuristic and archaic elements, creating a vivid, darkly comic vision of a future Ireland.

  11. 11. The Crowned Wanderer by Rahim Esenov

    "The Crowned Wanderer" is a captivating tale set in a fictional world where a young wanderer named Zahir embarks on a transformative journey. As he travels through enchanting landscapes and encounters diverse characters, Zahir learns profound lessons about love, loss, and the complexities of human nature. With poetic prose and rich imagery, the novel explores themes of self-discovery, destiny, and the eternal search for meaning.

  12. 12. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

    "Days Without End" is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of an Irish immigrant who enlists in the U.S. Army in the 1850s. The protagonist's experiences include fighting in the Indian Wars and the Civil War, as well as falling in love with a fellow soldier. The novel explores themes of identity, love, and survival in a brutal and unforgiving era of American history.

  13. 13. Feed by Seanan McGuire

    In a world where humanity has been ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, a team of bloggers sets out to cover the presidential elections, offering a unique perspective on the state of a society where the undead are a constant threat. The protagonist, a young woman with a passion for the truth, navigates a landscape of danger, political intrigue, and conspiracy, all while dealing with the challenges of living in a post-apocalyptic environment. As they delve deeper into the heart of America's reanimated politics, they uncover a plot that could have dire consequences for both the living and the undead, forcing them to confront the question of what it truly means to be human in a world overrun by zombies.

  14. 14. Still Can't See Nothin' Comin' by Daniel Grey Marshall

    This novel delves into the complexities of human relationships and the unpredictability of life through the lens of its protagonist, navigating through a series of unforeseen challenges and encounters. Set against a backdrop that blends the mundane with the extraordinary, the narrative explores themes of love, loss, and the quest for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe. The protagonist's journey is marked by moments of introspection and external conflicts that test their resilience and understanding of the world. Through a rich tapestry of characters and events, the story examines the depth of human emotions and the indomitable spirit to persevere in the face of uncertainty.

  15. 15. A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

    This novel vividly captures the harrowing experiences of a young Irish soldier caught in the brutal trenches of World War I. As he navigates the horrors of war, he also grapples with the complex political tensions of his homeland, torn between loyalty to the British forces and the rising call for Irish independence. Through his journey, the protagonist confronts the brutal realities of conflict, the bonds of camaraderie, and the personal quest for identity amidst the chaos of war and the shifting landscapes of early 20th-century Ireland. The narrative combines historical detail with profound emotional depth, exploring themes of loyalty, identity, and the devastating impact of war on the human spirit.

  16. 16. Deliver Me From Eva by Paul Bailey

    In "Deliver Me From Eva" by Paul Bailey, the story revolves around Eva, a strong-willed and independent woman who becomes the center of attention for three men. As they each try to win her over, they soon discover that Eva's past and her complicated relationships with her family and friends make it difficult for her to trust and open up. Through a series of unexpected events, the characters are forced to confront their own insecurities and learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness.

  17. 17. Penpal by Dathan Kahn Auerbach

    "Penpal" by Dathan Kahn Auerbach is a chilling and suspenseful novel that follows a man's investigation into a series of unsettling events from his childhood. As he delves into his past, he uncovers a dark and disturbing secret that connects him to a mysterious figure who has been stalking him throughout his life. With each revelation, the protagonist becomes increasingly haunted by his past, leading to a gripping and unnerving climax.

  18. 18. Faithful Place by Tana French

    "Faithful Place" is a gripping psychological thriller that follows the story of Frank Mackey, a detective in the Dublin Undercover squad. When a suitcase belonging to his long-lost girlfriend from twenty years ago is discovered in an abandoned house, Frank is forced to confront his painful past and the secrets that tore him apart from his family and the love of his life. As he delves deeper into the mystery, Frank becomes entangled in a web of lies, betrayal, and murder, ultimately leading him to question his own identity and the choices he has made.

  19. 19. That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern

    This book tells the story of a couple who have moved from London to rural Ireland to live a quiet and peaceful life. Their days are filled with simple pleasures and the beauty of the natural world. However, their tranquility is occasionally disrupted by the complex relationships and struggles of their neighbors. The novel offers a deeply moving exploration of love, loss, and the relentless passage of time.

  20. 20. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

    The book revolves around a young widow whose life is shattered when her husband dies from a brain tumor. As she struggles with grief and the prospect of moving on, she discovers a series of letters her husband left behind, each ending with "P.S. I Love You." These letters, designed to help her cope with her loss and gradually guide her through her pain, lead her on a journey of rediscovery. Through the tasks and reflections prompted by the letters, she navigates the complexities of love, friendship, and healing, ultimately finding a path toward a new beginning.

  21. 21. Love And Sleep by Sean O'Reilly

    "Love And Sleep" is a captivating novel that explores the complex and intertwined lives of a group of individuals in a small town. Set against the backdrop of a mysterious sleeping sickness that plagues the community, the story delves into themes of love, loss, and the power of human connection. Through vivid and lyrical prose, the author skillfully weaves together multiple narratives, each offering a unique perspective on the human experience. With its rich character development and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition, "Love And Sleep" is a compelling and deeply moving tale.

  22. 22. My Husband by Rumena Bužarovska

    "My Husband" by Rumena Bužarovska is a collection of short stories that explores the complexities of relationships and the struggles of women in contemporary society. Through vivid and thought-provoking narratives, the book delves into themes of love, marriage, infidelity, and the challenges faced by women in a patriarchal society. With a sharp and insightful writing style, the author presents a nuanced portrayal of the human experience, capturing the intricacies of emotions and the often hidden desires and frustrations that shape our lives.

  23. 23. The Parts by Keith Ridgway

    "The Parts" is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the interconnected lives of various characters in a small Irish town. Through a series of fragmented narratives, the book explores themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. With its lyrical prose and intricate storytelling, "The Parts" offers a profound reflection on the human condition and the ways in which our lives intersect and shape one another.

  24. 24. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

    In a universe where necromancers hold power, Gideon, a skilled swordswoman, is reluctantly paired with her childhood rival, Harrow, to compete in a deadly trial that could grant them immortality. As they venture into an ancient, decaying mansion filled with secrets and puzzles, they must unravel the mysteries of their world and face sinister forces lurking within. With a blend of dark humor, complex characters, and a gripping plot, "Gideon The Ninth" is a thrilling and unique blend of science fiction and fantasy.

  25. 25. Carbide by Andriy Lyubka

    In this thought-provoking novel, "Carbide" explores the complex dynamics of power, corruption, and the human condition. Set in a dystopian society, the story follows a young protagonist who becomes entangled in a dangerous game of political intrigue. As he navigates through the treacherous landscape, he discovers shocking truths about the ruling elite and the lengths they will go to maintain their control. With its compelling narrative and vivid imagery, "Carbide" delves into the dark underbelly of society, challenging readers to question their own beliefs and the nature of power.

Reading Statistics

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If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download