Beyond its literary tricksiness, the book resonates as the story of many a twentysomething, unsure of what they want, where they belong and who they are, but willing to explore all options. “I tried each thing, only some were immortal and free” goes a line by John Ashbery, a poet whom Breathnach quotes. Tunnel Vision is written in that spirit: trying things out, not always successfully, but with inventiveness, candour and the promise of more to come.
It’s obvious from the titular essay that Tunnel Vision isn’t for everyone. It sets out as a study of a seven-hour Norwegian film about a train journey, but the author soon starts intercutting his analysis with recollections of drug-taking and masturbation... Self-effacement, though, is one of Breathnach’s qualities. He knows he can sound silly and sordid and is especially funny when pricking his own pretentiousness