Is it a YA novel disguised as a cyber thriller? A treatise on love? A condemnation of our hyperconnected selves, our slavish devotion to technology? A philosophical evaluation of what it means to be human in the 21st century?Read more "Connect"
The title hints at one of the themes of the novel, which is that there are two Istanbuls, the one above ground and the one below, and each is ‘transformed’ in sense through acts of creation and imagination. The prisoners transform their surroundings through imagination and fantasy, parables and riddles, and likewise the city above is changed by time and love.Read more "ISTANBUL ISTANBUL"
There’s always a good reason to listen to decent music, so here’s another chance to look at my list of FIFTY GREAT IRISH SONGS (none by U2). Apologies if some of the You Tube links no longer work.Read more "50 Great Irish Songs"
“I am entering the frozen land, although to which country it belongs I cannot say.” David Park’s novel Travelling in a Strange Land is a brief story about fathers and sons, memory and regret, told from the point of view of a middle-aged man, Tom, travelling from Belfast to Sunderland to collect his son […]Read more "Travelling in a Strange Land"
The Hennessy Literary Awards shortlist for 2018 has been announced. I’m humbled and grateful to be included in the list. I have been shortlisted for my short story, “The Light on the Water”, published last summer in the Irish Times.Read more "Hennessy Literary Awards Shortlist"
The true border ran between the two forces of law and order, the Garda Siochana and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the two police forces sliding darkly past each other like blips on a radar, separated by the whim of politicians, detectives passing each other in the night, their murmurs breaking the static on […]Read more "Undertow"
“I’m only twelve,” said Ralph, “and I’m useless at lying. I’m no good at it.” (p127) “He’d have stuck with his namesake and Piggy. At least he hoped he would. He wasn’t very brave. But he’d have tried.” (270) Carlo Gébler’s The Innocent of Falkland Road is a coming of age tale set in […]Read more "The Innocent of Falkland Road"
Well, the Beast from the East came, met Emma, and dumped snow all over the country. Call it Snowmageddon, or Sneachtageddon if you prefer. Either way, the country is looking extremely wintry even though Spring is just around the corner. Which of course brings James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ […]Read more "Snow is General All Over Ireland"
“A house, a labyrinth of rubbish, a crazy old man and a message in a bottle: all the ingredients of a twisted crime story.” “The loveliest eyes are found in the heads of women who have suffered … Damage lies at their shining core. As I said, Drennan, you have beautiful eyes.” “Memories are […]Read more "The Hoarder"
If you haven’t seen Blade Runner 2049, please do so as soon as you can. It’s a visual feast of a film. And be sure to see it in a cinema with a good sound system – the film has an astonishing sound design, one that pays homage to and builds on the groundbreaking work […]Read more "Do Androids Dream of Electric Bleeps"