Thursday, 18 December 2014
The Blame and Stuff
Every so often I read a paragraph written by a talented bastard or bitch and I feel the urge to share it in a blog post. Today is the first day that I'll actually follow through.
"When Donal moved into town he swore he'd go places, The Grand Opera House to watch a play, Ulster Museum to look at stuff, into the City Hall to actually see what was inside. But he never did. He stuck to the back street bars, cobbled alley ways, Kelly's Cellars, The Sitting Rooms, White's Tavern, familiar places with familiar people. It wasn't difficult to order a pint. No mistake could be made. He asked for what he wanted and he got it, and after that escapade in the cathedral, he swore to himself he'd keep it that way."
The above is all the more powerful in the context of the novella. This paragraph occurs around the midpoint of Michael Nolan's The Blame. What you don't get by reading this in isolation from the rest of the text is Donal's state of mind at this point, what went on at the cathedral (a TERRIFIC passage also) and what comes shortly after.
But here, if you want to see Belfast from a less than glossy perspective, get this novella into ye. Nolan (or Micky, as I prefer to call him), has a gift, and in The Blame he shares it beautifully. I'd compare him to Jason Johnson, not in subject matter, or even style, but in brutal honesty and a keen eye for identifying the turds that have been rolled in glitter. I'm halfway through The Blame and wishing I'd hit my writing target earlier so I could get back to it.
Fair play to ye, Micky. Keep 'er lit.
P.S. The story takes place around Xmas time. Now would be a good time to nab yourself a copy.