Day: 23rd August 2010

Argyll peninsula: Lochs, Scots… and two whisky barrels

There are two types of season in Scotland,” Billy Connolly once quipped, “June and winter.” As the warm evening sun flickers one final time on the calm, aquamarine waters of Loch Goil, near Loch Lomond, before disappearing behind the ruins of Carrick castle, I glance at my wristwatch. If the Big Yin ever tires of […]

Nick Ward – Closing the Circle

In the 19th century Fastnet rock was nicknamed ‘Ireland’s teardrop’. This small, clay-slate island, 11 miles off the coast of Cork, was, for many emigrants, the last glimpse of land before America. A hundred and fifty years after the coffin ships, Fastnet is now a byword for offshore yachting – the biannual race is the […]

A satire on schooldays puts Paul Murray at the top of the class

In Ireland, small talk is not what it was. For centuries, Irish people chatted idly about the weather, then, for one crazy decade, it was difficult to buy a pint of milk without being invited to give an opinion on property prices. Now it’s the ever-worsening recession that is inescapable. “How is it in Longford?” […]

Edinburgh Festival Reviews

I’ve been in Edinburgh on and off during August, doing some reviews for a couple of local magazines, The List and Fest. It’s been great fun – I’ve seen some great stuff as well as the inevitable dross – but rather post all my reviews here I’ll paste a couple of samples with links to […]

Experimental work proves the novel is far from dead

Review of Tom McCarthy’s excellent Booker-nominated novel C from the Sunday Business Post. Literary spats seldom make news headlines, but Gabriel Josipovici’s description of Martin Amis, Ian McEwan , Julian Barnes and Salman Rushdie as ‘‘prep-school boys showing off “, pricked ears far beyond the closeted books world. The former Weidenfeld professor of comparative literature […]

Scroll to top