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Book Reviews
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
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
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
This Divided Island
Samanth Subramanian’s just-published 318-page book -whose subtitle is Stories from the Sri Lankan Civil War - is a compelling account of that violent conflict which finally ended in 2009.The book also deals with the catastrophic effects of the 2004 tsunami in which 30,000 Sri Lankans lost their lives. Throughout his riveting story, the author charts, through vivid personal accounts, the bitter conflict that raged through Sri Lanka for over 50 years. P K
Red Cavalry Isaac Babel
Think of M*A*S*H transported to the Russia of 100 years ago , and you get some sense of what Isaac Babel was about. The great Russian found sufficient eccentricity and madness to put a kind of demented colour scheme into these brilliant short tales from the Russian Soviet War of 1919-1920, on which he reported. The first major Russian-Jewish writer to write in Russian, Babel was murdered in Stalin’s purges of 1940. P Kehoe

Where can I get RTÉ Aertel Digital?

RTÉ Aertel Digital is an enhanced digital version of the RTÉ Aertel teletext service. It functions in the same way as the analogue service, offering current news, sport and weather updates but is now more agile and easier to use.

RTÉ Aertel Digital is available on Saorview, the new free digital TV service in Ireland.
Press TEXT button on your remote to launch Aertel from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, RTÉ News Now.