A Game With Sharpened KnivesBook - 2005
In 1939, the life of an Austrian physicist was saved by a revolutionary whose own sentence of execution had been commuted almost twenty years earlier. The physicist was Erwin Schrödinger, charismatic winner of the Nobel prize for Physics in 1931, forced to flee when the Nazis entered Austria; the revolutionary was the Irisch Fuhrer, Eamon de Valera. These are the extraordinary facts behind this extraordinary fiction.
Murder is in the air, and on the sea beyond the mouth of the river Liffey. German bombs are dropping, accidentally it is reported, on Dublin. In 1941, Ireland is a country not truly at peace, either with Germany, or with its neighbour across the Irish sea, or in fact with itself. Erwin Schrödinger, bohemian intellectual and emotional enigma, is living in cramped exile in the village of Clontarf on the outskirts of Dublin, with his wife, his lover and their child.
A Game with Sharpened Knives is the story of a man foundering on his own desires, a man who often finds it easier to say nothing, for no one in the tense and impoverished city of Dublin is quite what they appear. The first language of this country, as Erwin's Irish lover tells him, is silence.
From the winner of the Irish Times prize, a first work of fiction, and a truly magnificent novel.