3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Funny, Sad, Moving, and Brilliant Story about a teenage Irish Lad,
This review is from: The Fields (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a debut novel from Kevin Maher, it tells of the story of Jim Finnegan and starts our tale in 1984 when `Finno' is the tender age of thirteen. He lives with his Mammy and Daddy in Dublin and his five sisters. He also loves `Bronski Beat' and his best mate Gary whose own Daddy has to fly for the worlds worse named air line, yes Aer Lingus. Being thirteen he has more hormones than an artificial insemination production plant (if they actually exist, I haven't Googled it yet) and falls for Saidhbh who's own father is in `The Movement' which is code for the IRA, or at least everyone thinks he is. Either way he hates the ruddy Brits and loves all things Gaelic, hence the extensive use of consonants in all of his children's names.
He has to put up with a number of life's travails and also the very much unwanted attention of one of the Priests after he gets volunteered to be an altar boy. As his shenanigans get more adult in nature, his youthful innocence, which wasn't too innocent to be honest, leads him to have to make decisions that many a fully fledged adult would have problems with. The result is a brilliant story that races along so fast you are always left wanting more.
Kevin Maher has done that trick that eludes so many authors, in that he has dealt with some very difficult issues and still managed to keep the humour levels ramped right up, if this were a Rockumentary, the humour levels would be set on eleven - if you get my drift. Even when things are desperate he still manages to be funny. His observations are all brilliantly observed, but more impressive as they are done though the eyes of a fourteen year old tasting the highs and lows of life, often for the first time.
I absolutely loved this book, Maher has had abundant opportunities in writing before having worked for `The Times', `Time Out' and `The Guardian' but this has his finger prints all over it in terms of an individual style. It was clearly a labour of love and it shines off the pages. I laughed so much on one commute into London, two fellow commuters asked me what I was reading, I thoroughly recommend this and you don't have to be Irish to get the humour as it works across the divides and I am already looking forward to Kevin Maher's next one.