Thursday, December 28, 2006

Donagh from Dublin Opinion sent around an email wanting Irish bloggers to write about the best books they’ve read this year. Below is my contribution. Hope you all enjoy………….

“Stick Your Tongue Out” by Ma Jian is a collection of five short stories based on the author’s journey through Tibet. Be warned, if your vision of Tibetan people is of a peace loving pastoral people then this book is not for you. These tales show Tibet warts and all. Initially Ma Jian was a misty eyed outsider wanting to discover Shangri-La or Nirvana. By the end of the book he is a travel hardened individual who is more than slightly cynical of Tibet and its people. And so we are offered a Tibet, which while still reeling from the Chinese invasion shows itself to be a place of cruel historical inequalities.

Ancient legends of failed initiates, a vivid description of a sky burial are just some of the sights Ma Jian conjures up for us. Despite this Ma Jian shows an innate sympathy for the plight the Tibetan people find themselves in. The Chinese occupation, which is central to any understanding of modern Tibet, is implied rather than directly expressed and all the more powerful for this.

"Stick Out Your Tongue" was first published in China in February 1987. It was initially greated with great acclaim but later fell foul of the Chinese authorities and for a while, Ma Jian was forced to leave the country.

Also notable this year were

The Damned United - David Peace
Dublin Noir - Edited by Ken Bruen
Priest - Ken Bruen
Incidences - Daniel Kharms
These Are Our Lives - Ed. Declan Meade
Remainder - Tom McCarthy

You can read more at the following link http://www.technorati.com/search/Irishblogsandbooks .

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


All packed ipod ready. Hall it up to the airport. Wait in line to check in. Security check. Buzz buzz. Empty pockets. A nod of approval. Wait in departure lounge. Told to board. Fall asleep on plane. Wake in Madrid. Queue to get off. Collect luggage off carousel.

D to meet me at the arrivals. “Welcome to Madrid”. Walk through the terminal. Down escalator, stand on the right. Buy ticket for metro take line to Nuevos Ministerios. Change at Colombia. Get out at Cruz del Rayo.

Walk through Madrid evening to D’s apartment. “Drink?”
“Why not!”

“Dos” and two more. Feeling tired.

“Apartment next door”. Open front door. First floor, second floor, third floor, clunk. Click. “Mi casa”. Spare bed, lie down. “Food?” “Sure”. Eat and talk. Sleep and change.“Where?” “Here”.

Open door, out and into the Madrid city night.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I’m officially in mourning due to the fact that last Sunday my beloved Saint Pats we’re beaten 4-3 by Derry City in the final of the FAI Cup. Three times the Saints lead the match and three times they were pulled back and finally over hauled in the second half of extra time.

Oh well. Whats another year?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Technorati Profile