Exploring Dublin's every corner in a first-of-its-kind portrayal of the city since the boom, The First Verse peers through the eyes of a young gay man seduced by a secret society's ancient reading rituals. In brilliant prose, Barry McCrea gives readers a gripping tale of obsession and paranoia, and a uniquely vivid portrait of the new Ireland.
When freshman Niall Lenihan moves to Trinity College, he becomes fascinated with a reclusive pair of older students -- literary "mystics" who use random lines from books to determine their actions. Reluctantly, they admit him to their sessions, and what begins as an intriguing game for Niall becomes a dramatic and addictive quest for identity, companionship, and a cult's shadowy origins in the pages of literature and the people of a city.
The author's an Irishman who now studied Spanish and French at Trinity and now teaches comparative literature at Yale University. Based on this first novel, I'll look forward to seeing what he does next. :-)