Really enjoyed this book even though it was not what I expected from the product description. From this I thought the book would be more about the drug world and situations arising from that, when in fact this seemed a very small part of the book, not even starting until more than half way through. The book was more about the childhood friendship of Patrick and Robert, how this developed to the present, the relationships of Patrick, including his family. Even though it was not what I expected (which may be due to how I interpreted the product description, now that I have read the book and the description again), I would recommend this book to everyone. I loved the style that it was written in. I am normally a fast reader more interested in the plot than the writing, but this book made me slow down, wanting to enjoy the language and how it was written. The plot was also interesting and kept me captivated until the end. The other novel by this author is already in my wish list.
This is a fine "coming of age" story interlaced with a gentle, mystery sub-plot that, despite it's languorous pace, should keep you reading.
It's an "easy" read - and I say that in the best possible way. The language is rich and often very witty but is never dense and, despite the story being (largely) about everyday events in the lives of perfectly ordinary folk I still found it strangely gripping.
The book is a must for baby-boomers from Belfast, who will delight in the (sometimes veiled) references to familiar haunts of their youth(I know the very pond mentioned in the title) but this should not put others off. This intelligent, sardonic study of the murky waters of human relationships, culminating in one of the most delightfully satisfying conclusions I have ever read, should keep any reader interested.