Representing the best of ten books and twenty years' work, MatthewSweeney's Selected Poems is a magical mystery tour into his strange, unsettling world. Readers familiar with his poetry will be used to being led astray by his cordial, confiding wit, ambushed by his sinister twists, taken in by his intimate, untrustworthy narrators. Those who are coming to the work for the first time may feel a measure of alarm and disquiet at the way the poems shift - almost without your noticing - from a fireside chat to a tale of terror, from the commonplace to the hallucinatory, from the surprisingly real to the really surprising. These are the secret, spiky narratives from the arch story-teller, the mixer of hilarity and menace, the past-master of fractured realism. The world would be a poorer place without these oblique but oddly lucid poems from Matthew Sweeney's haunted imagination.