No Small Feat


Two new Irish novels that both deal with the same subject have been published recently. Words to Shape My Name by Laura McKenna and The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan deal with the former slave Tony Small, servant of United Irishman Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Though both novels tell the same […]

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The Book of Evidence


I’ve written about Irish novelist John Banville several times. I regard him as one of the finest contemporary prose stylists working in English. He is not everyone’s cup of tea. For every person who is a fan, you’ll find a detractor. His characters are ghastly, they say (well, this is true, but then again, great […]

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The Hoarder


  “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 […]

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The Therapy House


Being a crime novel set in Dublin, it is inevitable that drugs and gangland criminals make an appearance, as well as the IRA, and while those elements play a part in the plot, Parsons is more interested in psychological wounds and how those wounds motivate.

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Twenty Books of Summer: Echoland


When you’ve been at this business as long as me you’ll learn not to be surprised by anything. One day you’re arresting people. Next day you’re protecting the same people. The day after, who knows? They’re shooting you, or you’re saluting them. Echoland by Joe Joyce has been selected as the 2017 Dublin One City […]

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Windy Writing


I haven’t been blogging much recently because I’ve been trying to stay away from the Internet and do some serious writing. Not that the Internet isn’t home to some serious writing … of course it is. It’s just also home to nonsense like this and this and this, all of which are ludicrously addictive. But […]

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Shrieking Words


Banshee – /ˈbænʃiː/ BAN-shee, Modern Irish bean sí, from Old Irish: ban síde: Female spirit who heralds the death of a family member by shrieking or keening.  Banshee – /ˈbænʃiː/ BAN-shee: Irish literary journal, softcover, 113 pages, containing poetry, fiction and non-fiction by a wide range of writers … including me. For sale in all good bookshops and […]

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