The First Verse, Barry McCrea

TFV(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

Is this autobiographical? Both the author and his main character went to Gonzaga High School.

I found it strange to read about a Dublin with gaydar, mobile phones and text messages, realising that any previous about Dublin was set in the past, e.g. James Joyce’s Dubliners and Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim Two Boys.

The title reminds me of Cranmer’s ‘Here beginneth the first verse of the…’ and refers to a group of students who ask questions and then pick a sentence at random from any book to hand. It isn’t unlike the Sikh practice of taking hukam or its superstitious Christian alternative using the bible. It also reminds me of ‘The Dice Man’ by Luke Rhinehart. Also of a bipolar person undergoing a manic episode where he took instructions from traffic lights to guide his day.

I am a tad rusty but some of the Latin seemed dodgy to me. However, I looked up some of the phrases and they were correct.  Mea culpa.

An accurate observation: You can’t wait to get rid of a one-night-stand. You promise them the earth then hope they’ll forget it.

Also a typical manic episode where a cash point is raided to buy more and more books without any heed of how much money is left.

The editing could have been better: the guy goes into an Irish bar in Paris, order as pint of Stella and is given Guinness. In a later bar he says he will adopt Stella and orders a pint of it.

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