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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 2 August 2012
I'm a big fan of Colin Bateman but it appears I'm not such a fan of 'Bateman.' Since his PR folk discarded the 'Colin' ( why, I ask ? ) his writing has become a bit commercial. The wit is still there but it's a wee bit tired. Not enjoying his books the way I did his early writing.
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on 23 April 2012
I saw a copy of this today and thought I'd seen a new Bateman. Borrowed it from my local library. The edition was Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men, first published this year (2012) in this edition, but originally published in 1996. This explained the dated feel; a Northern Irish boxer is facing Mike Tyson (who retired in 2005); the IRA are still active... I'll give it 3/5 on its own merits, but it's interesting to see how much better, more humorous and cynical, Bateman has become since then.
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on 30 January 2000
In the second of Colin Bateman's novels to feature wise cracking drunken journalist Dan Starkey, Starkey receives an offer to accompany the entourage of Belfast boxer Bobby "Fat Boy" McMaster as press officer to New York for a St Patrick's Day showdown with Mike Tyson. With the disconcerting knowledge that his estranged wife Patricia is pregnant (and not to him), he accepts and is thrust headlong into another hilarious, violence peppered Starkey adventure. To begin with, black Muslim militants miscontrue some of the Fat Boy's comments and issue a fatwah on him, and then the Fat Boy's wife, Mary, mysteriously dissapears. Starkey sets about planning to rescue her, although the task is made onerous by the fact that his partner, the entourage's security officer Stanley Matchitt, is a notorious Loyalist killer. Like Divorcing Jack, there's plenty of violence so it's not a book for the faint of heart, however the violence is leavened by some good belly laughs at Starkey's chronic cynicisms and acidically witty observations. I am just about to begin reading the third Starkey novel ("Turbulent Priests"), I am confident it will be as good as "Divorcing Jack" and "Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men".
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on 22 August 2002
Dan Starkey, ex-journalist, book writer, marriage wrecker, and international man of disaster extraordinaire is back! This is the second novel of Colin Bateman's involving the adventures of hapless and constantly helpless Dan Starkey. This time round Starkey is commissioned to write a biography on Northern Ireland's answer to Mike Tyson! Bobby "Fat Boy" McMasters is the best thing in Europe, (or so his manager, Geordie McClean, small time gangster, would have you believe.) Unfortunately, Starkey isn't convinced and is sure to drop the occasional hint in his typically subtle style - like a lead brick in a swimming pool!! Starkey becomes even more unconvinced when he finds out that McMasters is going after the World Heavyweight title against none other than Tyson himself! Starkey tags along with the McMasters entourage to New York where the fight is to be staged on St Patrick's Day. It isn't long before things begin to go haywire. Starkey, a self confessed coward tries desperately to avoid trouble, but as usual is always found at the centre of it!!
This is another superb effort from Bateman who has managed to keep the pace of this story fast and furious. The usual twists are added to the tale, so just when you think every thing's easy to work out you find that he has led you up a blind alley. Bateman has an uncanny talent of taking you to the edge of suspense just like the cliffhangers from the old black & white "Flash Gordon" episodes. However, unlike in the following episode of Flash Gordon, there is no happen ending or miraculous rescue and Bateman pushes you over the edge. However, just as you are free falling he snatches you back and the tale takes off at its usual breakneck speed. Then to top it all he throws in the black humour that has you laughing out loud at the most awful of situations...
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on 11 September 2003
Having read 4 other Colin Bateman books I found this book to be rather hard to get into initially. Bateman moves away from his usual Irish setting for the most part of this book with the events taking place mainly in New York. Yet again Dan Starkey finds himself over his head with Murder, deceit and in this case boxing. Whilst I did find it hard to get into, I would still recommend this book as its another exciting chapter in the life of poor old Dan.
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on 2 September 2012
Having exhausted the entire Christopher Brookmyre back catalogue, I checked out some of Bateman's stuff on recommendation of a friend. So glad I did.
Starkey is a great character and this book is hilarious, thrilling and full of likeable characters.
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on 28 April 2010
In the last couple of years I have returned to Colin Bateman, having loved Divorcing Jackand Cycle of Violencein my teenage years. More recently I have been evangelical about I Predict a Riot and Mystery Man.
I grabbed a copy of Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men feeling the need to check in with Dan Starkey and must admit it has moments of brilliance. The characters are really well fleshed out in true Bateman fashion and there are some truly touching moments in the book when it addresses Dan's relationship breakdown with Patricia. It's a book that pays off through perseverance though - for me it took a good while to kick in to the main caper and for a book of just over 300 pages this was a bit of a problem for me. Nonetheless it does pay off eventually - I guess I just wouldn't recommend it to a first-time Bateman reader as he is capable of a much more gripping and funny read (although to be fair, boxing doesn't hold much interest to me and I'm much more a fan of the action set in Northern Ireland).
Next stop - Turbulent Priests. I still think Dan is a fanatastic character and this remains a worthy chapter in his story.
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on 12 July 2015
I enjoyed this a lot so much so that it was read outside of the usual bus commute and offered up enough laughs and surprises to get the " you right in the heed look" from fellow passengers.
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on 2 July 2015
Great character development. If you like Starkey as a character by Bateman then I would recommend reading the two "Murphy" books, as they still have great humour but, in my view, more grit
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on 4 April 2016
Not his best in my opinion, but still worth a read. The characters lack a little something and I didn't find myself drawn back to the book like I have with his other books.
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