Fishing in Beirut


Fishing in Beirut is a contemporary novel in eight parts, set mainly in Paris. It was written between 2002 and 2006. It follows the lives of five characters in the city over a 3 year period, with some parts also taking place in Berlin, Chicago, and Sevilla. It is written in a series of short scenes, with each character getting one scene before we move on to another.

I wanted to describe things, to really render scenes of Paris on the page. I was obsessed with sensation, and the writing returns again and again to how the characters are physically feeling. I wanted to tell how they were feeling and show what they were doing at a particular moment and leave all judgement up to the reader. I don’t know if I achieved that or not but that was the aim.

The book works best if you read it in sequence, but feel free to pick and choose extracts as you go, or even just to follow the story of the character(s) you like.

You can see each part individually by clicking the relevant part name on the right side of the page. If you would like to see all the scenes of a particular character, just click on the character name on the right. The story begins with a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca.

Sept 2010: Fishing in Beirut is out now in paperback, published by Blue Press. Copies can be ordered directly from the publisher by emailing Price is ā‚¬10.00. It is available on all online retailers, including Amazon international, The Book Depository, Waterstones,, Barnes & Noble, Bertrams etc. You can also order it in any bookshop anywhere in the world. The ISBN number is 978-0-9565960-0-0.

Oct 2010: Fishing in Beirut is available in store in Hughes & Hughes Dundrum. To know when it becomes available in a shop near you, check here regularly and follow me on twitter.

Dec 2010: The official launch took place in Deansgrange Library in South County Dublin on Tuesday 14th of December. The book was introduced by Bert Wright, curator of DLR Library Voices & DLR Mountains to the Sea Book Festival. More details and photos on the event’s Facebook page. A great night was had by all.

Jan 2010: According to Bert Wright, “It’s rare to find a contemporary novel which satisfies on so many levels but Fishing in Beirut is one such. Not alone is the prose rich and lyrical, but the multiple point-of-view narrative is at once bold and deftly constructed. The sounds, smells, and tastes of great European cities are brilliantly evoked and there are several intriguing plot twists to keep the reader engaged throughout. On this performance, Steven Callaghan is an Irish writer to watch.”

Fishing in Beirut has been covered in the local press, and read by several bookclubs. I am always happy to speak at literary events, so don’t hesitate to contact me. Here’s a brief interview, courtesy of the wonderful Sarah’s Books.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for updates. New novel The Book of Chivalry coming soon. Thank you all for your kind comments.

Steven Callaghan



  1. The writing style is very beautiful and lovely to read. Its definitely not glamorous escapism but Im looking forward to reading the story as it unfolds.

    Comment by Poppy — January 17, 2010 @ 11:09

  2. This is a great read. I am delighted to find new fiction from a new Irish author.

    Comment by Sarah Vivien Conroy — January 17, 2010 @ 11:48

  3. Great idea. Well done. Looking forward to reading more & seeing it develop .

    Comment by Brian Kennan — January 17, 2010 @ 16:28

  4. Having read and enjoyed most of the author’s previous work, I am really looking forward to this latest offering.

    Comment by Paddy — January 17, 2010 @ 19:42

  5. Poor Frank my heart goes out to him want to follow his story and hope he gets on ok. I could identify with how he’s feelin.

    Comment by Lara May — January 18, 2010 @ 21:22

  6. I’m delighted to find some new Irish writing. Keep it up.

    Comment by James — January 26, 2010 @ 17:28

  7. This is a really original way to publish a novel and I’m it’s a great story, well done!

    Comment by Grace — January 28, 2010 @ 20:58

  8. Ive benn following the story on line and Aria is my favourite part so far. It has a great atmosphere and good character outlines. I feel I know the girls and what they do and think. also its a good contrast to the other scenes so far. I wonder if I follow arias story line will it make sense on its own like as a short story type of thing? I also have to say I like the simple way i can get to read a part with the contents at the side Cool!

    Comment by Lara May — February 1, 2010 @ 18:37

  9. This is great writing. I only discovered it a couple of days ago, but I’m checking back every day now. Thanks šŸ™‚

    Comment by Henry — February 2, 2010 @ 18:37

  10. Im really enjoying Fishing in Beirut told in parts. The story is intriguing and I’ve been checking for updates for the past couple of days in anticipation! Its a very good story and I think the website is very well laid out and contents part is very user friendly. I’m about to check out the Sarah link now. Well done I hope people will spread the word on this site and story. Poppy šŸ™‚

    Comment by Poppy — February 5, 2010 @ 19:22

  11. Part 4 Claire and Karen together talking things through, with tension building as a backdrop, is very well written and structured. It builds good atmosphere, tense and touching and very empathetic. These two characters work well together. Iā€™m looking forward to reading more of their story. Steven Well done šŸ™‚

    Comment by Poppy — February 22, 2010 @ 20:06

  12. I’m really enjoying this story and reading it in parts, please let me know if it will be available in a hard copy I’d love to get one sometime? Orla

    Comment by Orla — March 2, 2010 @ 10:37

  13. Id love to buy a copy too. Let me know if it gets published. Its a very good story and all the characters are well created.

    Comment by Lara May — March 2, 2010 @ 19:02

  14. Really excellent story. I saw it reviewed on Sarah’s books and came along to check it out. I think Aria is my favourite.

    Comment by Sol — March 16, 2010 @ 17:17

  15. Excellent story, I’m delighted I found it

    Comment by Joanna — March 26, 2010 @ 15:28

    • I’m logging in every lunchtime at my desk in work and loving following the story, will def have to buy a print copy when it ends!

      Comment by Orla — March 27, 2010 @ 13:51

  16. Any sign of a print copy? I’d love to read it all together.

    Comment by Henry — March 31, 2010 @ 14:23

  17. Great read. Love the story so far. Need to catch with the rest.

    Comment by Bren — April 1, 2010 @ 16:00

  18. This book is fantastic. really! I’ve only started to read it today but will be logging on to read a little each day. I’d love to buy it in print as it would be even more enjoyable and easier to read Best wishes from isobel

    Comment by isobel — April 6, 2010 @ 17:49

  19. Way to go steve Great to see your book up and running at last.

    Comment by Conor — April 7, 2010 @ 16:13

  20. Im really enjoying the book, let me know when you are publishing it.Best wishes Helen.

    Comment by helen — May 21, 2010 @ 20:29

  21. Great story, I read Karen’s story seperately using the link on the page. Now I’m going to go back and read the whole thing.

    Comment by Frances — May 25, 2010 @ 17:45

  22. Really cool idea. Would love to see it published too

    Comment by Neil — May 28, 2010 @ 09:03

  23. I’m really sorry this is coming to and end but have loved reading it online and am looking foreward to getting a print copy šŸ™‚

    Comment by saravivien — May 28, 2010 @ 15:06

  24. The book cover design looks very good. Unusual and interest – catching.
    Just checked it out on twitter.

    Comment by Martina — July 15, 2010 @ 18:50

  25. I’m so delighted to hear this is coming out in paperback. I can’t wait to get a copy. Well done!

    Comment by Sol — July 16, 2010 @ 14:19

  26. Stephen this is seriously good writing. Must have had at least one good teacher in primary school! Really enjoying your writing. Keep it up. Great to see the marriage of passion and talent. Far too often one of these ingredients is missing. looking forward some day soon to getting hard copy in all good bookstores! Best wishes

    Comment by john gearty — July 20, 2010 @ 23:39

  27. Great read so far. Will there be an American translation?


    Comment by Joe in Chicago — July 27, 2010 @ 14:04

  28. Can’t wait to get a copy in paperback. Really looking forward to it! Felicitations de Paris!

    Comment by Laurent — August 5, 2010 @ 18:00

  29. Greetings from Oslo. I heard about your book when I was in Dublin and I am checking it out now Jo

    Comment by Jo — August 6, 2010 @ 19:36

  30. congrats on paper back copy – look forward to getting myself one or two..

    Comment by Paddy — September 23, 2010 @ 10:44

  31. This is really excellent news. I will buy on

    Comment by Laurent — September 23, 2010 @ 16:36

  32. I’ve ordered my copy on amazon and they say I’ll have it by middle of next week. I suppose its a really good idea to stay loyal and go to a local bookshop, i’ll be buying a copy ffor a friend and will do this! Well done on getting it out there in paperback Poppy šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

    Comment by Poppy — September 24, 2010 @ 18:12

  33. I got my copy from Amazon this is a great read and I see from Twitter you are working on another one!! Can’t wait for that one too, Grace

    Comment by Grace — October 4, 2010 @ 13:01

  34. I got my copy this morning. Looks great šŸ™‚

    Comment by Sol — October 13, 2010 @ 10:01

  35. Well done Steven Callaghan on your new book. Hughes and Hughes books in Dundrum Town Centre are stocking Fishing in Beirut.I was there on saturday. All you facebookers can check it out there on the link below! Brilliant review and well deserved. Lisa

    Facebook review

    Comment by Lisa Dillon — October 17, 2010 @ 15:57

  36. Well done Steven….a great read. Keep up the good work! John

    Comment by John — October 18, 2010 @ 10:14

  37. Really great book. I bought my copy in Hughes & Hughes Dundrum and I’m loving it.

    Comment by Cormac McCarthy is my uncle — October 26, 2010 @ 17:51

  38. This is just taking wings! Well done Steven I have just finished reading my copy of your book and I find i’m missing it now its finished. A really good sign :)LD

    Comment by Lisa Dillon — October 27, 2010 @ 20:36

  39. Got my copy in Hughes & Hughes today. Looks great. I’ll definitely be coming to the launch. Well done.

    Comment by Martina — November 17, 2010 @ 11:08

  40. Congratulations on your book and I’m very impressed to see you have an official launch at Deansgrange Library. I will definitely attend on the 8th December
    Good luck Steven šŸ™‚

    Comment by Paula — November 21, 2010 @ 09:14

  41. Am looking foreward to getting my signed copy at the launch!

    Comment by saravivien — November 26, 2010 @ 16:53

  42. One of the strongest and best received local titles ever to hit the shelves in Dundrum. Congratulations to all on your official launch. Have a wonderful evening. We’ll certainly be there to lend our support!

    Comment by Hughes & Hughes Booksellers — November 27, 2010 @ 10:43

  43. Disappointing about the launch being postponed, I’m getting pretty sick of this weather! luckily I can make it next Tuesday 14th. See you there Poppy

    Comment by Poppy — December 7, 2010 @ 18:25

  44. I was really sorry to have missed your address to the Dundrum Book Club yesterday, I loved the book are you have any more author events planned?

    Comment by saravivien — February 16, 2011 @ 15:56

  45. Saw this in the window of the exchange bookshop in dalkey a couple of weeks back and picked up a copy. Am really enjoy how all the stories are interwoven so far. Love those paris descriptions!

    Comment by Lisa, Killiney — April 27, 2011 @ 16:32

  46. We went to buy the book at Hughes and Hughes in Dundrum but they said it was out of print. So we borrowed a copy from a friend who was raving about it, and have both just finished reading it. Didnt realise until today that you can borrow it in the library (although we’re not actually members!!!!). Fishing in Beirut is a great story and shows a deep understanding of human nature and vulnerability and then resilience. We were kind of reading it at the same time and fighting over who got it first after work. We would still love to buy a copy for ourselves, (maybe even one each :). Where can we buy in Dublin, Has that shop in dalkey got copies or can we only buy on line? Anyway just want to say Congratulations on a wonderful novel šŸ˜€

    Comment by Lynda and Ita Mc M — April 28, 2011 @ 20:27

    • Thanks folks! No, the book is certainly not out of print, H&H must be out of stock. The Exchange in Dalkey has copies for sure, and all the online retailers listed above also. Most public libraries in Dublin and Cork carry copies too, with more counties to follow.

      Comment by fishinginbeirut — April 29, 2011 @ 16:05

  47. My friends book club was raving about Fishing in Beirut just thought I would let you know I am going to get my copy in the Dalky Bookshop tomorrow -love the blog too!

    Comment by Irish Book lover — April 29, 2011 @ 12:33

  48. Thanks for that Steven. We also went on to a link ‘ and there is some information there too. This is a great link to provide. We love the idea of the literary club…maybe we’ll give feedback there on Fishing in Beirut ! Lynda

    Comment by Lynda and Ita Mc M — April 30, 2011 @ 11:22

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