Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More "Violence"

Here's a bit more of Colin Bateman's view of the fictional Northern Ireland town of Crossmaheart in his early novel Cycle of Violence:

"When you live on the First World poverty line — you can only afford to hire out two video cassettes each week and you take your summer holidays within a hundred miles of home — looting is less of a crime and more of a signal from God that he's busy elsewhere but here's an early Christmas present just to keep your interest."
"First World poverty line" is brilliant. The next bit ("you can only afford...") might seem condescending, but the rest of the sentence dissipates that possibility in a burst of japery. Sympathetic? Satirical? Reader, you decide.

***
And who is Bateman's target here, republican terrorists or their nationalist counterparts?:

"A car was hijacked in Belfast, repainted, number plates changed, new documentation acquired, fluffy dice attached. It was driven to Meadow Way, parked in a garage, and the bomb loaded. Five hundred pounds' worth. A few pounds of Semtex might have done the same trick, but the UVF didn't have access to international markets. Fertilizer, chemicals, batteries, wire, a detonator, a clock."
(Read more about Cycle of Violence.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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12 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

A five hundred pound fertilizer bomb in the boot of a car? To paraphrase Winston Churchill, some boot, some car.

July 14, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Do you think Bateman, unlike the boot, is full of shit?

July 14, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Each barrel in the Oklahoma City bombing weighed 500 pounds. Could one barrel fit in a big boot? Maybe.

July 14, 2010  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Peter

Maybe but they had the barrels standing in a rented truck. Add in the detonator, the remote device and that's a seriously big bomb to fit in a boot. Obviously you cant put it in the front seat or back seat either because the cops will see. If I remember correctly Cycle of Violence was written before the era of SUV's and when N Irish cars were generally on the small size.

And if its the UVF or UDA we're talking about here you've got to assume a high level of incompetence. I doubt they could have got weaponised fertilizer into as small an area as McVeigh.

But it also might just be an over estimation by the cops. They're always seizing a million pounds worth of heroin or a five hundred pound bomb. Never 215000 quid of heroin and a 320 pound bomb.

July 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Cycle of Violence" was published in 1995, and the car in question was a Volvo. I have a feeling those efficient Swedes left plenty of room in their boots.

Yeah, I don't think Bateman was real high on the competence of the UVF, either.

Hmm, look at the passage again: "the bomb loaded. Five hundred pounds' worth." Maybe Bateman was writing about the bomb's cost rather than its size. But 500 sterling is quite expensive for an amateur bomb, I guess.

July 15, 2010  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Peter

No its got to be the weight as per the Semtex comment. And he's right of course, look what twenty pounds of Semtex did to the Grand Hotel in Brighton.

A Volvo, eh? Surely not a Volvo 240 where you can see into the admittedly boot.

Also Volvo drivers were not the type to hang up fuzzy dice. Greenpeace bumper stickers, peace signs, but fuzzy dice? Never.

There's something fishy about this whole thing.

July 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, if the Volvo in question had not been [SPOILER ALERT] destroyed in the bomb blast [END SPOILER ALERT], perhaps the incongruity of fuzzy dice in a Volvo might have given the game away.

July 15, 2010  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Peter

Well thats ruined it for me.

I meant to say "admittedly big boot".

Maybe the UVF guys just couldnt help themselves. They knew the Volvo shouldnt have had dice but because they're spides, dice it had to have.

July 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dice it had to have, yes. Blood will tell.

Here is a footnote fron the Wikipedia entry on "spide":

See also
Ah beng (Singapore/Malaysia)
Arsim (Israel)
Bogan and Hoon (Australia and New Zealand)
Chav (England)
Dres (Poland)
Gopnik (Russia)
Naco (Mexico)
Ned in Scotland
Skanger (Ireland)
White Trash (United States)


Those damned gopniks and their anti-social ways!

July 15, 2010  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

You know what the difference between a bogan and a hoon is?

A hoon is a bogan who drives a souped up Ford Falcon - or the equivalent thereof - around the streets, fast, at night.

July 15, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

As opposed to neds (and their feminine counterparts, audreys), who seem to hang disproportionately around bus stops, if Donna Moore is to be believed.

July 15, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

To mention another Bateman book, "Mystery Man" seems to have garnered a huge fan over at Reactions to Reading, wherein the blogger mentioned uproarious laughing in public while reading it.

Enough to get me to order it.

August 13, 2010  

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