February was a very intense month in terms of reading (as you will see in a minute). It was a roller coaster of ‘I’m loving it-I don’t want to come near it ever again-I’m glad I read it-I need a recovery & a nap’
1. Here Are The Young Men – Rob Doyle (read in English)
“Here are the Young Men tells the story of four young men: Cocker, Rez, Kearney and Matthew. Facing into the void that is the rest of their post-school lives, they spend their first summer of freedom in an orgy of self-destruction. Murder, suicide, rape and torture suddenly take a very real shape in their lives, leaving them with a single way out that carries profound moral consequences.”
It took me almost 30 days to finish this which is quite some time for a 300 page book. I found it very difficult to read for a number of reasons. First of all it is filled with Irish slang which I found quite troublesome to follow. I needed much help from my lovely Irish friends (thank you Cathy !).
Second of all it was incredibly emotionally draining. It was probably one of the most emotionally heavy stories I’ve read in a long while. Many times I found myself recoiling and cringing, seriously considering putting the book down. It was a very odd reading experience. On one hand I was on the verge of not finishing the book. On the other I couldn’t keep it out of my head. I still can’t if I’m being honest). After (after a long while) finishing it I had to reread Harry Potter to help restore my inner peace.
I don’t want to go into much detail about the plot because in this case it’s quite difficult to do that without giving too much away. In this case the less you know the better.
It definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s dark, gritty, painfully realistic and disturbing to the core.
I’ve gotten to a conclusion I am yet to find a book written by an Irishman that won’t leave me emotionally drained.
2. The Borgia Apocalypse: The Screenplay – Neil Jordan (read in English)
Ever since watching Showtime’s historical fiction drama The Borgias I’ve been obsessed with this utterly fascinating family. I read every book I could find regarding the Borgias, watch every documentary (I have a notebook in which I take notes to educate myself. I clearly have a problem, I know). I rewatched Neil Jordan’s TV show so many times it’s not even funny anymore. I was devastated when it was cancelled after its third season. So you can only imagine how extatic I was to find out The Borgia Apocalypse existed. This is what would have been (and should have been) a proper conlusion to this epic series. As the title suggests it’s a screenplay for the two-hour episode wrapping up the story.
As it is “last episode” in the series I won’t go into details on the plot. I will say though that I’m pleased with the conclusion (and in denial that I’m done with this series for good). As a whole it doesn’t follow the historical events very closely but I loved it either way. I’m very grateful to Neil Jordan for giving us a chance to know how this story ends.
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling (read in English)
This was something I desperately needed after reading Here Are The Young Men. (It has taken its toil if you couldn’t tell by now). This and funny cat videos on YouTube. A reread was in order.
How was your February?