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on 23 September 2008
Do you want to laugh? Do you enjoy complex comic characters? Like your music? Then this is the book for you.

Twenty Major is a politically incorrect tag for a politically incorrect writer who hits the funny bone time and again.

I am a 'read it in one go if it is any good' type, and was up all night reading this. The test of a book I think is much like a favourite film. Would you go through it again? I would, and I have.

Well done Mr Major, whoever you are.
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on 31 January 2013

For three years Twenty Major has written a daily blog. Now though comes a tale so bizarre and abominable that mere words on a computer screen wouldnt have been able to do it justice. These words need to be on paper ...

When Twenty Major's friend, record-shop-owner Tom OFarrell is brutally shot in the stomach, his dying act was to scrawl the number 60 in blood on his chest and dial Twenty's number into his phone. When Twenty is called to the scene of the crime he hasnt a clue why Tom was trying to contact him or what the hell the number 60 means. But himself and Tom go back a long way and he vows to find Tom's killer.

Then things take a turn for the worse: Folkapalooza is announced - a massive free concert due to take place in the Phoenix Park with headlining acts Damien Rice, James Blunt and David Gray.

Something is wrong, really wrong. Why are people obsessed with Folkapalooza? What has turned the Goths outside the Central Bank into acoustic loving drips? Who is the ginger albino and how does it all link to Tom?

Can Twenty, Jimmy the Bollix, Stinking Pete, Dirty Dave, Lucky and even Ron himself, save the people of Dublin and, less importantly, the rest of Ireland, from a fate that is, quite literally, worse than death? And solve a murder along the way?

Well, this started off in promising fashion - entertaining and amusing in places.

Unfortunately, by about a third of the way through this turned to irritation as to why there was still so much of the book left to read. The plot was unbelievable, the characters one-dimensional and the sprinkling of one-liners that took a page or two to set up before delivery was frankly annoying.

The resolution of the murder/Folkapalooza palaver..........well who cares?

I don't suppose the author meant for this to be taken seriously, and was written very much tongue in cheek, but it didn't do anything for me.

2 from 5.

This was borrowed from my local library, so at least I can give it back.
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on 14 March 2008
Twenty Major's first book, based on the characters from his blog, pulls no punches from the first page. A twisted story about brainwashing the Irish populace into becoming acoustic loving drips, it's up to Twenty, Jimmy the Bollix, Stinking Pete, Dirty Dave, Lucky Luciano and Ron the barman to save everyone - will they be able to?

The writing style is easy to read, although the multiple tangents can make it hard to follow at times - and anyone offended by swearing should stay well clear. That said, for those that know Dublin and it's inhabitants, the raw language and local settings will make the book come to life as it accurately reflects daily life there.

A strong storyline twists through the book and keeps the reader interested. Surprisingly, for a first novel set over a short period of time, very little of the dialogue seems drawn out, except for when the author drops in his long-winded 80's song title puns. While I feel that they work very well on his blog, in the book they seemed a little contrived and stole attention from the main storyline.

Overall, a great read and a fantastic first novel - I can't wait for the next one to come along. In the next few years we might just realise that Twenty could be Ireland's answer to Terry Pratchett!
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on 31 March 2008
Not for the prudish or faint-hearted. Nothing is suppressed in this surreal adventure where the author literally cuts his head open and lets us look into the vile interior completely uncensored! At times the stream of consciousness is almost Joycean, except for the fact that it is comprehendable
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on 27 February 2008
I was already familiar with the pseudnonynous and eponymous Twenty from his blog ([...]) and had eagerly awaited his tome.

Read it in one sitting - which is a vote of confidence as I read quickly and get bored easily if a book doesn't stimulate my interest. The humour is, at times, crude and if you are easily offended or particularly endeared to politically correct constructs then this book will irritate you no end and you'll doubtless write scathing reviews excoriating the text and laying into poor defenceful Twenty.

If you like a gumbo of blunt humour, subtle jokes, surreal comedy, satire and finely crafted prose then this is definitely worth the look. Yes there will be suspicous gristly bits you don't quite recognise in the mix (there are occasionally references that might be lost on non-Irish/non-Dublin readers - but the same is true of Joyce and Flann O'Brien) but you'll enjoy the fullness of the stew.

And after the stew... pints. Of guinness. naturally.

four stars because I never give five and because if I gave four he'd just sit on his laurels and make a mess of the sequel. ;-)
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on 3 March 2008
Twenty will soon be seen as the master he is.
Darragh is wrong this deserved 5 stars, but he is right on everything else.
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