Friday, March 14, 2008

Welcome to Northern Ireland

I am pleased to add a new site to my links list and a new entry to my roster of labels. Gerard Brennan's Crime Scene NI is "Primarily devoted to the post-Troubles boom in Northern Irish crime fiction" and "also highly interested in all Irish, Euro and international crime fiction."

That sounds good, especially the part about the "post-Troubles boom." Sounds like a phrase that could launch a thousand books.

Check out the site for information about crime writers, Northern Irish and otherwise, and an information-packed set of opening posts that includes the first discussion I have ever seen of gender-based author initials.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Hi Peter

Thanks a million for the kind words. I'm chuffed to bits you've enjoyed it so far.

Later 'gator


March 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And I am chuffed that you used the word chuffed. Getting to see that word every once in a while has been one of the benefits of connecting with folks from the U.K. and Ireland through this blog.

I'll also look forward to learning about new writers and getting my butt kicked into reading some I should have read already, such as (Colin) Bateman.

One question of etiquette and political sensitivity: Do folks from Northen Ireland prefer to be referred to as "Northern Irish"? One imagines that simply "Irish" might rub some people the wrong way.

March 14, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Tomorrow the Ireland rugby team drawn from both the South and the North will try to avoid having its butt kicked by England.
If they win I don't think they will mind being called Irish?

March 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's nice to see the North and the South fielding a joint team. With respect to preferred forms of expressing nationality, it reminds one that the former violence in the North got much more press than the humble rhythms of everyday life do today. Perhaps one has to read crime fiction to find out what's really going on.

March 14, 2008  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Hi guys

We've got something called dual nationality here now, which means you have the right to refer to yourself as Irish or British, depending on your political aspirations. Bateman actually does a great bit on it in one of his books. To paraphrase, "If I'm ever on a plane that gets hi-jacked I'll say I'm Irish, because the British guy is always the first to be shot in that situation."

I'm happy with Irish, but Northern Irish is safest, I guess.

I don't think the rugby team will mind what you call them if they win. They'll be too pissed to understand you.

And yes, as far as I can see, the new crime fiction coming out of NI is giving a very true reflection of the present situation.

Ta for the questions folks. Made me feel important (and chuffed).


March 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I like Bateman's take, proof, perhaps, that humor may be the only sane way to grasp reality.

Where should I start my Bateman reading? And what are the essential books for crime-fiction readers who want to get a feel for what's going on in Northern Ireland now?

March 14, 2008  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

You'd definitely want to read the Starkey series, which begins with Divorcing Jack and runs for seven books up to Belfast Confidential.

Ach sure, I'll list them to make finding them a bit easier.

Divorcing Jack
Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men
Turbulent Priests
Shooting Sean
The Horse With My Name
Driving Big Davie
Belfast Confidential

DJ was written in 1999, and with each new book, you get a taste of the political climate in NI at that time (except for the two that are set in the states, but read those anyway for continuity). And in I Predict A Riot (the one just before his last), you get a very up to date view of Bateman's Belfast.

The rest of his stuff is great too, but the Dan Starkey series is essential reading.

Basically, I recommend you buy eight of his twenty-one books to start with. A bit extreme, but I hope that helps.


March 14, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, and thanks in advance on behalf of any readers of this blog who follow your suggestions. It appears that Divorcing Jack is readily available in the U.S. I shall look for it.

March 14, 2008  

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