Sick, twisted, weird, politically incorrect, foul and brilliant, 'The Order of the Phoenix Park', is a guilty pleasure that makes pot noodles look like porridge.
It was only a matter of time before blogger Twenty Major (twentymajor.net) made the leap from screen to page and congrats to Hodder & Stoughton Paperbacks for being the forward thinking, and let's face it, brave ones to do it. On the go, and scooping blog awards, for the last three years his latest, lengthy escapade needed print to do it justice.
Indeed, as opposed to just rehashing and publishing extracts from his blog, Twenty wrote an original piece which, while not be to every ones liking, is certainly an ambitious piece of publishing.
There have been some negative reactions to Twenty’s book, dismissing him merely as a blogger who got lucky or saying he’s not a 'real' writer, which is unfair.
Major's paperback antics begin with the news that his mate has been murdered. Baffled Twenty did what he always does in such a crisis and heads for his local, 'Ron's', to see if the experts aka the lads could shed light on the situation. Together with Jimmy the Bol**x, Stinking Pete, Dirty Dave, Lucky Luciano and Ron, Twenty stumbles across a plan to brainwash the Irish populace into becoming "acoustic loving drips".
The style is along the same vein as the blog, direct and easy to read. The language, which is raw and foul, will be familiar to Dubliners and it brings Twenty's urban setting to life, as he takes his readers on numerous trips around the capital. The strong storyline is original and set over a short period of time, ensuring a fast pace, however numerous subplots and blog tactics detract from the main storyline.
Few can beat Twenty when he's on form, particularly on a rant about some aspect of Irish life or culture and these sections are the highlights of the book. Maybe for his next outing he should concentrate on some of his favourite topics of annoyance that populate his blog, as this is where Twenty really shines at his vulgar best.
Generally though this a great read and a fine accomplishment for his first novel. Don’t be distracted by the negative blog label that some associate with blog-turned-novel writers. Look what happened with former blogger turned Academy Award winner Diablo Cody of 'Juno' film fame – new, talented writers are being discovered daily on their blogs and Major is amongst them.
I'm looking forward to seeing Twenty top 'The Order' with his next outing... a TV series could work too.
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