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Bad Day in Blackrock Paperback – 8 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847399398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847399397
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 0.1 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"'This is the defining story of his generation. It should be told.' Frank McGuinness" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kevin Power attended University College, Dublin, and lives in Dublin. He was shortlisted in 2007 for RTE's Francis McManus Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JuliaC VINE VOICE on 9 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the first novel from young Irish writer Kevin Power. It is a very studied, and fascinating study into the Dublin elite, into the rarefied world of rugby clubs, private schools, the old boys network, and the feeling of invincibility that young people from such backgrounds possess.

The story concerns the death of one of their own, the university student Conor Harris, who is beaten to a pulp outside a Dublin nightclub one barmy August evening. The shock it however, that it is three of his own friends who do the beating, or in this case, the kicking in the head. Power tells the story through the eyes of a narrator, who has observed the goings on of the group at a distance for some time, and who gradually pieces together in his mind the possible reasons and causes of this tragedy.

Alongside the explanation of the friendships, often built on nothing more than mutual backslapping and adoration of the trappings of their wealth, there is a beautiful young woman entangled in the tragedy. Laura Haines was the girlfriend of Conor, but is now going out with Richard Culhane, one of the most beautiful creatures on the earth, a fact that he is well aware of. Culhane is one of the three students who are involved in the fracas that results in Conor's death, some suspect that is was he who delivered the final fatal kick to the head. And Richard saw Laura talking to Laura shortly before the incident.

The story also shows us how the families of all the students are affected by the tragedy. They are affected so profoundly that their lives will never be the same again. The things which they took for granted have been snatched away with three kicks to the head.

This is much more than a simple love rivalry. Power has fantastic powers of observational writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
"Bad Day in Blackrock" has recently attracted attention again, because it's inspired the storyline for the new Irish movie, "What Richard Did." Based on a real case that shocked Ireland earlier in the decade when a wealthy young Irish teenager was accidentally killed in a brawl outside a Dublin night-club, "Bad Day in Blackrock" is a harrowing, gripping and illuminating look into the underbelly of Ireland's so-called 'Celtic Tiger.'

Part of what gives "Bad Day in Blackrock" its punch is that everyone in it, from the judge to Conor's killer and Conor himself, all came from the same socio-economic background. All of them were born, raised and educated in south Dublin's affluent (good and, more often, bad) and it's true that nearly all cities have areas like south Dublin's, which makes it relatable to. This world of upper-middle-class privilege and opportunity has only been increased by Ireland's economic miracle, which was in full throws at the time "Bad Day in Blackrock" was written. As cynical as it sounds, had Conor Harris been killed by three working class boys, this would have been a very different story and the media would have had a field day discussing how "chav" culture had run amok in modern Ireland. As it was, Conor's killers were three boys very like himself, who were all very drunk, out for a night out with their friends and who decided to show off in a fit of bravado and accidentally ended up taking another human's life.

"Bad Day in Blackrock" is about much, much more than the character of Conor Harris's death. It's a harrowing look at the only-slightly-fictionalized actions of three boys who are so like three boys a lot of us know. It's about class, personal responsibility, mistakes and it's one of those books that stays with you. I found myself thinking about it, with morbid fascination, long after I'd finished reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BenT on 23 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Kevin Power has writtn a book that is in some ways very similar to the 'Ross O-Carroll Kelly'series. However, whereas Paul Howard's 'ROCK' books are a satire 'Bad Day in Blackrock' is a more serious and poignant look at the same subject. The rugby, the jocks and the Abercrombie-wearing girls are are still here but their actions and motivations are articulately woven in with a social commentary on growing up in Celtic Tiger Ireland when money suddenly flooded the homes of south Dublin's new elite. Like the 'ROCK' books 'Bad Day'has echoes of Brett Easton Ellis as it decribes a generation that has been handed everything yet has become more vacant and somehow less human in doing so. Although they're mainly Cathlics, materialism has become the new religion with shopping trips to London, home swimming pools and 100+ haircuts in boutiques (even for the boys). All the while glory on the rugby pitch remains the last bastion of honesty and nobility but only becasue it's the only thing whereby they have to genuinely work hard for their success.

When I immediately finished it I was admittedly a little disappointed because the story lacks any real resolution. However you're told this will be the case right from the start when the author tells you the outcome of the trial. Thus I realised it's not about what happens it's about what happened and why and when it comes down to it there really is no why. The event was merely a product of the empty society which we seem to have become, one that cannot offer deeper explanantions for its actions.

An absolute must read if you've grown up or lived in Dublin since the mid-90's although it's so well-written you'll enjoy even if you've never been to Ireland.
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