The Blinding Absence of Light

The Blinding Absence of Light

Found two gems in the Oxfam shop in Belfast’s Ann Street, which I’ve read before, but I bought them anyway to give to friends. John Banville’s The Book of Evidence is probably his best, in my opinion, based on a real life crime in Dublin in 1982. But the other book is...
Captured at Dunkirk

Captured at Dunkirk

George McCool was captured by German soldiers at Dunkirk. Twenty years ago, I interviewed the Derry man at his home in the Waterside. George, a Catholic unionist, who described himself as ‘a bit of a royalist’, incredibly, lived in Derry’s Creggan throughout the...

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit

Almost all of my media interviews in the past few months, including much of my commentary on Twitter, have been dominated by the Brexit issue. Again, this morning I was interviewed by Hayley Millar, BBC Scotland, about Brexit and the proposed pact between the DUP and...

A Length of Rope

Finished Summer Before The Dark by Volker Weidermann and about which I have mixed views. I bought it because I am a big fan of the writer Stefan Zweig but was also influenced by the incredible number of good reviews and endorsements it received. Its premise is sound:...

Schlump

Two days after his meeting with communist GDR officials, Hans Herbert Grimm, went home to Altenberg and committed suicide. It was 1950 and Grimm was fifty-four years of age. Grimm, a schoolteacher, had taken part in WWI, and in 1928, anonymously, wrote a...

Threepenny Novel – Brecht

Finished reading and was very disappointed with Bertolt Brecht’s didactic Threepenny Novel, which was written in 1934. Couldn’t engage with it, found little or no redemption although there was some humour. What I learnt is that in 1934 a soft boiled egg had to be...