Lyrical and blackly comic, A Provincial Death is a startlingly original meditation on solitude and perseverance, the consolations of art and philosophy, and the capacity of human beings to endure catastrophe.
It is a hot, summer morning and Smyth, a struggling writer and academic, wakes to discover he is stranded alone on a rock in the Irish Sea. As he clings on in hope of salvation, he is assailed by broken memories and the failures of his past. Fragmented images of the previous day comes to him: a mysterious research institute, a dead forest, a rickety boat captained by a gruff old fisherman, an eccentric academic named McGovern who believed that the Moon was about to crash into the Earth, destroying everything. Confused, weary and sore, and with the tide rising inexorably and strange sea creatures circling, Smyth tires to make sense of an arbitrary world in a desperate bid for survival.