After three years embedded in the Siege in Sarajevo, Tom returns to Dublin a haunted shell of his former self. His childhood friends Karl and Baz know they're comically unqualified to help him but are determined to see him through the darkness. So they embark on a journey for an unlikely cure, to an experimental Californian PTSD clinic called Restless Souls. But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own - of what happened to Gabriel, their fourth childhood friend. 

RESTLESS SOULS is about young men grappling with the aftermath of tragedy. Darkly comic and deeply moving, it's an extraordinary portrait of male friendship, the power of memory and what it means to come home.

Longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

Longlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

One of Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Great Debuts of 2018




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Praise for Restless Souls:

A great rattlebag of a novel, RESTLESS SOULS turns genre inside out. At turns comedic, at turns literary, at turns thriller, at turns philosophical, it never stops being a page-turner. Mixing humour with its attendant darkness, Sheehan postulates that we all must eventually face our own history. Ultimately this is a road journey into memory. This is a great debut, reminiscent of Colin Barrett, Sara Baume, Rob Doyle, Claire Louise Bennett and a whole new generation of Irish writers. (Colum McCann, author of LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN)

Tender and rambunctious and animated by a dauntless faith in human connection, RESTLESS SOULS is a book that that boldly ranges across the borders of nations, decades, and literary genres. Sheehan is a brave new voice in fiction, fusing comedy and heart to explore a friendship transformed by trauma, but vitally, achingly resilient nevertheless. (Alexandra Kleeman, author of YOU TOO CAN HAVE A BODY LIKE MINE)

RESTLESS SOULS is a terrific debut novel, bold and wise, each page lit with wit and with feeling. In his examination of friendship, Ireland, and a distant Sarajevo under siege, Dan Sheehan marks himself out as a writer to watch. (Jonathan Lee, author of HIGH DIVE)

Dan Sheehan writes sentences as Rodin sculpted bodies, beautiful because of their tension, tense because of their beauty. (Kathleen Alcott, author of INFINITE HOME)

RESTLESS SOULS is a hilariously shambolic road trip, a moving, freaked out, at times bruisingly mordant examination of the purgatorial agonies of PTSD, and above all a bawdy, alive, profane panegyric to the indissoluble bonds of friendship. (Colin Barrett, author of YOUNG SKINS)

RESTLESS SOULS is the funniest sad book I've read in a long time, and a first novel of amazing complexity and maturity. Sheehan shows us the traumas of war and family like a seasoned veteran of both, and administers jokes like a battlefield nurse. A terrific debut from a dynamic new writer. (J. Robert Lennon, author of BROKEN RIVER)

'Bittersweet' might be the word for the feeling Dan Sheehan conjures up with this tale of three childhood friends trying to put things right, except that the warmth and depth with which he portrays the challenges of friendship go way beyond sweetness, and there's nothing bitter about the anger and darkness into which he is unafraid to send his characters; instead, this is a story of what happens when the best of intentions meet the hardest of truths. Here are the shadow of war, the long reach of trauma, and the moments when it becomes clear that shared memories, and banter, and boyhood code, may no longer be enough. A touching, brave book. (Belinda McKeon, author of TENDER)

One part war story, one part bro story, and one part road trip, RESTLESS SOULS is a wonderful debut by a talented, intelligent writer who knows how to make you think and make you feel and make you laugh. I devoured it. (David Ebershoff, author of THE DANISH GIRL)

A brilliant debut from a talented young Irishman, RESTLESS SOULS is alternately comic and tragic, as three boyhood friends come to grips with the loss of innocence and the suddenly forceful presence of death in their lives (Philipp Meyer, author of THE SON)

Dan Sheehan has turned the American road novel into an international affair... he writes at the intersection of history, compassion, humor, and the humane. RESTLESS SOULS has a roaming heart like Kerouac, banter like Martin McDonagh, but with a touch more redemption and soul. (Alex Gilvarry, author of EASTMAN WAS HERE, National Book Award 5 Under 35 Honoree)

RESTLESS SOULS is set amidst the siege of Sarajevo and catches admirably the madness of those times. For more than three years the embattled Holiday Inn in the Bosnian capital was the headquarters of the foreign press. The rooms without a view were the ones most in demand. We called ourselves the Sarajevo Survivors' Club. If I had the talents of a novelist, Dan Sheehan's book is one that I would love to have written. (Martin Bell OBE, UNICEF Ambassador and former BBC War Correspondent)

RESTLESS SOULS is a compelling debut, one which impels its readers to reckon with the pressing questions we, in all our varied societies, face. Sheehan brings distant parts of the world closer, writing about besieged Sarajevo with nauanced understanding, and reminding us that achieving inner peace is often more difficult than reaching the end of a conflict. Ultimately, this novel boldly alleges that, above all, we need each other. (Jasminko Halilovic, author of WAR CHILDHOOD: SARAJEVO 1992-1995)

Dan Sheehan’s debut novel is ambitious, rambunctious and extremely accomplished. Ambitious, in so far as it addresses daunting and complex issues; rambunctious, in its wild, road-trippy exuberance; and accomplished because it combines these elements with style, wit and compassion. At a time when contemporary fiction is being dominated more and more by arid and self-indulgent experimentalism, it’s refreshing to discover a writer who is holding true to the solid virtues of story, character and voice. (The Sunday Times)

[A] stunning and moving debut novel ... Sheehan's blend of breathless action, unsentimental depictions of love, and spot-on period touches will appeal to readers who like their hopeful narratives tinged with powerful uncertainties. (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

Vivid, funny and emotionally intelligent, Sheehan's exploration of male friendship yokes extremes of human behaviour into a labile, and page-turning, tragicomedy. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Sheehan deals deftly with these sensitive subjects, tempering his prose with a darkly comic streak that never feels misjudged. As a study in how young men process and express their grief, Restless Souls is a highly promising debut. (The Times Literary Supplement)

One of the most exciting debuts of the year, this part road trip story and part war story is an electrifying read. A story of the friendship between three wayward Irish lads,one of whom is suffering from severe PTSD, and how the three embark on an adventure to an experimental clinic called Restless Souls to help him. Genre-bending and brilliantly witty, this is a terrific first novel. (Book Riot)

A moving journey through grief, loss, war, and new beginnings for three childhood friends on the cusp of finally growing up. Irish debut novelist Sheehan packs an emotional gut punch in his new book, as well as a fair number of laughs—a tightrope walk to be sure, but one he handles with aplomb ... A paean to friendship and the resilience of the human spirit. (Kirkus)

In his rendering of the bonds of male friendship, the novel stands on firm ground. He evokes the boys’ confusion, their tenderness, their fear. But also their hope that they can save their damaged friend and, in so doing, rescue themselves from the guilt that has haunted them since the first of their number took his life, a message that transcends generations. (The Guardian)

This is an extremely well-considered novel, with each chapter containing all the emotional weight and intensity of a short story. Furthermore, Sheehan's treatment of PTSD, grief, death and Irish masculinity are handled with surgical precision. Overall, hugely impressive stuff. (Hotpress)

[An] enjoyable debut novel . . . there's some fine Irish comedy along the way, and Sheehan adeptly pierces the nature of lasting friendship. (The Observer)

Sheehan has written a darkly funny, poignant novel ... A touching read about male friendship and emotional crises, RESTLESS SOULS is a deeply readable account of men undergoing a trauma they can barely cope with—a rare subject in irish fiction. Sheehan has written about as strong a debut novel as it is possible to write. (The Cork Evening Echo)

Christopher Hitchens once said that it was literature, not gospels, where real ethical dilemmas are met and dealt with. Such a truism springs to mind often in this flexible and pacey debut from Irish-born New Yorker Dan Sheehan ... [Sheehan] has a sensitive ear for those elusive registers of the soul that are perhaps occasionally masked by the burly stoicism of laddish Dublinese. What's more, he is able to make them sing a little when he needs to. (The Irish Independent)

Sheehan’s assured debut novel does a lot at once without getting in its own way. At one level it’s a coming-of-age story and the portrait of a friendship between a group of Dubliners in their twenties. There’s plenty of banter, big plans, and misadventures. The characters are personable, their dialogue sharp and funny ... the narrative becomes a cross between an American road trip and an Irish ghost story in the vein of The Dirty Dust, with the dead not letting his condition keep him out of the conversation. Along the way Sheehan explores complicated questions of friendship, responsibility, and memory, asking how far we can go to save those we love and how we can live with memories that are painful reminders of all we’ve lost but at the same time all we have left of what we cherished. (Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington D.C [Staff Pick] )

A strong and striking debut. (The AU Review)

[A] tender, banter-filled debut. (The Daily Mail)

[A] bold, brave, bravura debut. (The Sunday Express S Magazine)