Saturday 23 October 2010

With Deepest Sympathy - Johnny Mains

Gun Money is a strange ghost story of Ireland's recent, very troubled past, the days of its Civil War and the assassination of Michael Collins. This and a modern scrounger who cheats his way through life - till he tries to cheat the dead, and finds they're not so easily cheated.

The mood swings completely with the next much shorter tale, Jesus Wept, an amusing piece of blasphemy which would ensure, if known, make Johnny's reception in religious quarters more than warm. Quite a grab bag of jokes too, mixed in with some quite horrific descriptions, clipped, colourful and always spot on. Hard core drugs and Christianity in the form of a junky Jesus Christ, who may or may not be real - at least to the narrator. With a comical punchline, which made me laugh at least.

The Bag Lady is a much more serious story, a true horror about a murderous old woman with a big red bag. Told from the perspective of an eleven-year-old boy, it's a dark, grisly tale of child murder and the supernatural.

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