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Book Reviews
Over Our Heads Andrew Fox
The young Irish writer Andrew Fox (born Dublin 1985) now resides in New York and his first collection crackles with tales from both sides of the ocean, wandering pretty much at ease through the social strata in the case of his native Ireland, and deftly charting urban American life in a number of the 15 stories. Recommended. Paddy Kehoe
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Inspired Notes Tomas Tranströmer
The renowned Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer - who died on March 26 last, aged 83 - won the Nobel prize for Literature in 2011, the citation referring to his “condensed, translucent images” which gave us “fresh access to reality.” Many of the poems collected here in this Dedalus Press publication (which combines two previously published volumes) are operating in the dark recesses of the psyche and the poet worked for most of his life as a psychologist. Exceptional work and a profoundly humane sensibility.. PK
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The Days of Surprise by Paul Durcan
A Paul Durcan poem featured on the recent shortlist for A Poem For Ireland, itself a measure of his immense popularity in this country. The poet’s ever-changing moods range from devastating social satire, madcap comedy, elegy and wry expressions of outrage on behalf of those who feel left out. The poem 1916 Not to Be Commemorated is Durcan at his corrosive best. Paddy Kehoe
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Hitler's First Victims
On April 13, 1933 deputy prosecutor Josef Hartinger was summoned to the recently-founded concentration camp at Dachau. Four prisoners had just been shot, and the SS guards were insisting that the men had been attempting to escape. The eminent Bavarian lawyer found neat precision wounds at the back of the head, and all 4 were Jews. Hartinger realised that sinister plans were afoot, as revealed in Ryback's compelling account. P K
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Western Philosophy in 100 Haiku
The History of Western Philosophy in 100 Haiku by Haris Vlavianos (translated from the Greek by Peter Mackridge) is a pocket-size paperback, which boils down the work of 100 philosophers into the statutory 17 syllables. Vlavionos goes for humour where he can. Take John Stuart Mill on Liberty: Am I bothering you?/ No? Then I will eat as much/Pudding as I want! Paddy Kehoe
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