This pithy prose-poem of a 1p Book Review has been sent in by discerning Dabbler reader Stephen Buckley…
I’ve just bought Colm Toibin’s Bad Blood for a penny. History has cracked along since he wrote it yet has also continued its sluggish brown drag reminiscent of the peat streams Toibin observes flowing into the Loughs of Fermanagh.
Here is a relatively sleepy Eniskillen before the ‘big’ bomb, there’s a dozy Omagh before Spanish pipe bands and car bombs. He stays in a farm house on the border and informs his guests how much the Pope enjoys a bowl of beetroot soup. The Pope. In Fermanagh. An awkward silence falls.
Last month I sat in the café at Eason’s bookshop on O’Conell Street reading ‘The Blackwater Lightship’. An old one by me started to get agitated, trying to catch my eye. He got up to leave and touched the book as he did so. ‘He lives here, y’know, lives in this town!’.
‘Bad Blood’ for a penny. A writer well on the way to current brilliance.