There it was hanging on the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey yesterday for the 80,000 anti-austerity marchers - and everyone else in Dublin - to see. A message from the past, from James Connolly, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion in 1916. In many ways it is as relevant today as it was during WWII as Ireland groans under the burden of the German-led European Union's insistence that the Irish people pay for the malfeasance of the Irish and German banks who crashed our economy. An election is coming up next week and nobody knows for certain how it will play out. But one thing is clear. A lot of people in Ireland are totally fed up with the ruling elites of both Ireland and Europe.
Let's be clear, I adore this writer. I have read just about everything he has written and, until this book, I have never been disappointed. And it's not that this one isn't compelling - I'm still slogging through it - but I am actually SHOCK HORROR bored at times and I have SHOCK HORROR skipped pages. At the same time, there are sections that have had me laughing out loud which has not happened with his other books. Brilliant comedic writing. But in so many passages he seems to be aping Joyce, showing off his brilliance with prose to no meaningful purpose, and wasting my precious reading time. This was written in the 1990s. Was he already that famous that his editor wouldn't touch him? I'm a few weeks with him now when normally I read him in a few days. That says it all.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.