An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Review - The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty.

Adrian McKinty is great addition to the noir genre. This is apparently his fourth novel featuring Michael Forsythe a particularly unlikable fellow originally from Ireland but whom we find managing an hotel in Peru under the witness protection program. McKinty swiftly transport him, and us the readers, to a post-ceasefire Ireland on Bloomsday 2004 to find and recover the kidnapped daughter of an Irish American lady gang boss. So there you have the opening - fast and mobile - a great start to any book and especially a thriller.

Besides leaking more and more plot and background to us as we go along McKinty also tests our knowledge of modern Irish literature with his references to Flann O'Brien and reminds us on every page, with a subtle typographic device, of James Joyce. McKinty is knowing and knowledgeable, as is his anti-hero Forsythe, and one gets the impression that he is smiling to himself as he writes. I found myself smiling along with him.

Apart from a dreadfully contrived opening line that had me reaching for the sick bag I have only one quibble with McKinty and that has to do with the length of this novel - 50 or 60 pages shorter would have made it a much better book. He needs, in my opinion, to edit himself more harshly to get up there with the top flight.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review mate. This is book 3 and its the last in the trilogy. I dont know if you read book 1 as I dont know if Bloomsday will make a lot of sense if you havent. (you can safely skip book 2)

    The italic j is nothing to do with me, just a simple typo that eventually (I hope) will be corrected.

    The beginning of book 2 might send you for the sick big as well as it starts "Dawn over the turquoise shore of Africa and here under the fractured light of a street lamp, brought to earth like some hurricaned palm, I woke before the supine ocean admist a sea of glass and upturned bus-stands and the wreck of cars and looted stores. The streets of Playa de las Americas were flowing with beer and black sewage and blood."

    Book 1 (Dead I Well May Be) should however keep your healthy Cretean lunch safely in your stomach. It begins "No one was dead."

    Ciao or as Patrick Fermor would say "see you later old chap."