This is the story of the growing up of Martin Brennan, a troubled boy in troubled times, a boy who knows all the questions but none of the answers. This is Belfast in the late sixties. Before he can become an adult, Martin must unravel the sacred and contradictory mysteries of religion, science and sex; he must learn the value of friendship; but most of all he must pass his exams – at any cost. A book that celebrates the desire to speak and the need to say nothing, The Anatomy School moves from the enforced silence of Martin’s Catholic school retreat, through the hilarious tea-and-biscuits repartee of his eccentric elders to the awkward wit and loose profanity of his two friends – the charismatic Kavanagh and the subversive Blaise Foley. An absorbing, tense and often very funny novel which takes Martin from the initiations of youth to the devoutly-wished-for consummation of the flesh, Bernard MacLaverty’s new book is a remarkable re-creation of the high anxieties and deep joys of learning to find a place in the world.