Friday, November 18, 2005

"Beyond the Pale" Roundup

Patrick McCabe's Breakfast on Pluto didn't strike me when I read it as a book that could easily be translated into a movie hit, but whatever Neil Jordan has done seems to have paid off. It's getting excellent reviews all over the shop, such as this one in the New York Times, and on the train last night there were two jobbing actors sat behind me chatting away (at the usual "look-at-me" volume) about trying to secure a pirate copy.

I read the book when it first came out and found it difficult to follow. I didn't have any connection to the central character, nor, consequently, any empathy, even though I've been to Clones more than a few times (McCabe's fictional small towns are all Clones, or at least have its bleakness). As a consequence, I probably skimmed the book and didn't focus on what was actually happening. My disappointment upon finishing it was softened only by comments of several friends who regarded it as his worst book to date, and so I put it on the shelf and forgot about it.

Looks like I was wrong. It sounds to me like Jordan really "knows" Kitten, the protagonist, and can see where he's coming from. Jordan and McCabe's shared understanding of growing up in small-town Ireland in the 50s and 60s is, I suspect, what allows the latter to write so insightfully and the former to bring it to the screen - and me to be out of my depth. I suspect I'll have to watch the movie and then go back to book and re-educate myself.

And ask my beloved, since she grew up in that part of the world at the same time.

The Irish Times reported last week that McCabe has a new two-book deal and a new publisher, his next book being, reportedly, somewhat "dark." Mmm. Poor fella really should get out more.

The big event this weekend outside of Dublin is the match tonight at Turner's Cross, Cork, between Cork City and Derry City. This is the last match of the season, and it happens to be between first and secoind in the league, with Cork needing a win and derry only a draw to secure the championship. It should be a belting match and, happily, is being shown live on terrestrial telly. No one in Dublin will own up to any interest, but everyone will be watching all the same.

Finally, here's Big Niall's column in today's Guardian discussing David O'Leary's circumstances at the Villa. The phrase "Damning with faint praise" comes to mind, but then we Villa fans are used to that by now.

1 comment:

Lorcy said...

One of my favorite cringe-making moments of Irish TV, I know there are so many, was Bibi Baskin on one of her shows asking Patrick McCabe in interview, "so Patrick, where do you get all your crazy ideas from?"