Fiction Book Group - This Plague of Souls by Mike McCormack

Plague of Souls cover image

The June Fiction Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, June 10th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all, no registration required.

Click on this link to join the Zoom session

Find out about Solas Nua's Fiction Book Group and titles list

Join the Book Group's Facebook Group here!


The follow-up to Booker-listed literary sensation Solar Bones is a terse metaphysical thriller, named a most anticipated book of the year by The GuardianThe Irish Times, and The New Statesman.

Nealon returns from prison to his house in the West of Ireland to find it empty. No heat or light, no sign of his wife or child. It is as if the world has forgotten or erased him. Then he starts getting calls from a man who claims to know what’s happened to his family-a man who’ll tell Nealon all he needs to know in return for a single meeting.

In a hotel lobby, in the shadow of an unfolding terrorist attack, Nealon and the man embark on a conversation shot through with secrets and evasions, a verbal game of cat and mouse that leaps from Nealon’s past and childhood to the motives driving a series of international crimes launched against “a world so wretched it can only be redeemed by an act of revenge.” McCormack’s existential noir is a terse and brooding exploration of the connections between rural Ireland and the globalized cruelties of the twenty­first century. It is also an incisive portrait of a young and struggling family, and a ruthless interrogation of what we owe to those nearest to us, and to the world at large.

The Times Literary Supplement Best Books of the Year 2023
The New Statesman Best Books of the Year 2023
Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024

“A memorable attempt to evoke the murky contemporary relationship between individuals and unseen global systems. As its mysteries compound, the novel constructs a vast speculative network in which everything appears conspiratorially connected—‘art and politics, light and dark, past and future’—yet nothing is really understood.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“Tightly structured, with elements of noir.”
The Los Angeles Times

“A suspenseful and beautiful work by a writer who hates where he believes the world is headed and is attuned to the simple joys we are in danger of losing.”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Mike McCormack

About the Author

Mike McCormack was born in London in 1965 and raised on a farm in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. He published his first story collection, Getting It in the Head, in 1996, followed by three novels that have marked him out as an experimentalist. Notes from a Coma (2005) interspersed its narrative with a fragmentary commentary at the bottom of each page. His work reached a wider audience with 2016’s Solar Bones, in which a lonely Mayo engineer recalls his life in one unending sentence – it won the Goldsmiths prize and was longlisted for the Booker. His latest novel, This Plague of Souls, follows a painter named Nealon as he returns home from prison and sets out to find his wife and child amid brewing global unrest. McCormack lives in Galway with his wife, artist Maeve Curtis, and their son.

All events are listed in Eastern Time and Irish Standard Time.

Related events