The Game is a multifaceted meditation on sport. It is part memoir, outlining my time as a player and fan of sport and how it has shaped my life.
It is also a book of essays critiquing several aspects of sport, both good and bad, and showing its influence in the wider world.
It is also a work of auto-fiction, wherein I try to use my novelistic abilities to chart narratives, personal and public.
It is, finally, a work of scholarship, interweaving my view of a life spent inside and outside the white lines with the cultural discourse of previous writers and thinkers on the many themes explored.
Whatever It Takes, my second novel, is published by Mercier Press. It is the One City, One Book 2020 choice for Cork.
It tells the story of Detective Garda Tim Collins, who is based in Cork city. Collins is at war with the leading local criminal, Dominic Molloy (‘The Dom’).
Whatever It Takes depicts a dark realism and shows the battles of will and intelligence that go on in the world of crime and policing. Running out of time before the murder of two teenagers becomes inevitable, and with a traitor in the garda station feeding information back to Molloy, Collins takes his battle to new heights. He is determined to win, whatever the cost, whatever it takes.
My novel in stories, The First Sunday in September, was published by Mercier Press in 2018.
The book tells the story of a fictional All-Ireland Hurling Final Sunday, from the points of view of several recurring characters, exploring recurring themes.
Donal Ryan described it as ‘vibrant and authentic, brimming with intensity and desire.’
Irish Independent said: ‘Just like his county’s hurlers play, Coakley’s book is fast-moving, highly skilled and a pleasure to behold.’
Everything, the Autobiography of Denis Coughlan tells the life story of one of the greatest Irish dual stars, winning All-Ireland medals in both Gaelic football and hurling in the 1970s as well as a host of other championships and awards.
But Denis’s life story is much more than about sport. It spans a remarkable eight decades, covering many aspects of his life, his insights on sport and how games and life have changed dramatically over the years.
Selected as one of the Sports Books of the year in 2020 in the Irish Examiner, Irish Times and Sunday Times.