Charlie is thought of as the town idiot. It doesn’t help that he spends near two years in an almost coma because of the shock of finding a body. Charlie is a reluctant, unreliable narrator who has been told by his psychologist to write 1,000 words a day in order to help him work through the trauma that triggered his collapse. This is not a cozy story about small town Ireland. The Gamal by Ciarán Collins is a nonlinear, mordantly humorous narrative with a dark view of village living told through a young man considered to be an outsider by his community.