A Sunday morning; the cold winter sun footprinting the carpet; wearing warm wool; the tea green and the fruit peeled; John Updike’s latest exceeding expectations; playlist pumps Tal Wilkenfeld, tactile and mellow on her Sadowsky strings; my five senses dovetail. Brain sends a wave when a particular soundbite agrees with the flash of sunlight on a crystal vase – synchronicity or synchrony? Whateva. It’s a sunny Sunday in winter and I’ll take what I have.
I heard the waterfall before I saw it. I allowed its thundering tenor to leech me in along the nebulous path, mud sucking at my bare feet. Then between dark birch branches a bright movement shimmered opaquely. It focused first as a covert cloud, then as serial stalactites sloping and sliding downwards. I finally viewed its full might Continue reading
This book is a refreshing departure from more regular coming-of-age stories both in style and approach. Stephen Chobsky takes a literary risk in requiring his readers to follow the narrative in epistolary mode – the central protagonist communicating entirely through his letters to an unnamed confidante. The risk pays off once the reader gets the cadence and language of the first-person writer and from there the voice becomes very natural for both the character and the story.
Clues like Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and the popular practice of boys making music ‘mix-tapes’ for girlfriends, put the action in the early nineties. The wallflower is Charlie, a mid-teen schoolboy without friends until he ventures to approach fellow students Samantha and her gay stepbrother Patrick. Continue reading
You turned the corner into Donegall Square – trust the Brits to add the redundant letter at the end of an Irish placename; yet another separatist sore thumb dismissive of the border county of Donegal that birthed the O’Donnell line of High Kings right back to times in the mist. Across the park the Belfast City Hall hit you with a pain in the eyeball. A monolith to monolithism that some would tell you had been constructed as a declaration of whose prick was biggest. It looked more like a folly that the Shah would have built for himself in the desert with his oilwells. It was an offence in scale with the city’s poverty when it was erected barely a hundred years ago when the builder and Messrs. Harland, Wolf and their ilk hired only workers who prayed at the right church. Continue reading