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Cycle of Violence

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  406 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Marked by Colin Bateman's signature blend of sinister violence and sidesplitting dialogue, Cycle of Violence is the story of Miller, Belfast's bicycling journalist, and his "cycle of violence", on assignment to Crossmaheart, a post-terrorist ghetto where the preferred response to bone-chilling murder is a hilarious one-liner, and vice versa. The town harbors secrets more s ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 5th 1997 by Arcade Publishing (first published January 1st 1995)
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Dec 29, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I saw the film Divorcing Jack (based on a Bateman novel of the same name) many years ago, enjoyed it, then saw this in the store and bought it, and now, some 15 years or so later, I've finally got around to reading it. The good news is that my initial instinct was right -- I love comic fiction, and if it's dark comedy, so much the better. This book fits the bill nicely, with line after line of comic wordplay and nasty humor. Miller is a loose cannon of an investigative journalist who is banished ...more
Matthew Catania
Jun 21, 2015 Matthew Catania rated it really liked it
Cycle of Violence by Colin Bateman is a good quick read set in 1990s Northern Ireland. It's mordantly funny, but I don't think it's as hilarious as the the dust jacket told me. Manic depression & the lifelong effects of sexual abuse are handled very maturely with most of the punchlines being about terrorism & manslaughter. The Femme Fatale trope is subverted. It's kind of like Martin McDonagh work. Most importantly, the scene on this cover does happen in the book.
Mark Speed
Aug 23, 2014 Mark Speed rated it really liked it
This was recommended by a work colleague, and it didn't disappointed. The protagonist is a stereotypical journalist - drunk, outspoken and angry. The 'cycle of violence' is a reference to the bicycle he rides to the violent scenes of the Troubles. He's reassigned to what would have been called 'bandit country', where the Loyalists and Republicans are facing off in a small community. Black humour - lovely.
Set mainly in the small town of Crossmaheart in Northern Ireland, this was rather a bit too dark and depressing for me and while there was some dark humor it was not nearly as funny as I remember his first book Divorcing Jack being. I listened to the audio version and unfortunately the narration by Andrew Jackson was rather pedestrian.
Laurent Szklarz
Could be use as a screen play for a Guy Ritchie movie. For those who don't understand the reference: this is a highly entertaining book
Jan 29, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Blimey this was black, even for Bateman. First published before the Good Friday Agreement, it provides a bleak picture of Northern Irish town life along with the usual self-deprecating male mayhem. It's also a very sweet sad love story and a series of heartbreaking puns. Plus a curious dollop of Barbara Pym-esque boarding house life.
Jan 11, 2015 Garrett rated it it was ok
I'll give it this: It ends well.
Gary Maunder
Dec 26, 2011 Gary Maunder rated it really liked it
A very entertaiing read. The novel combines suspense and murder with romance and comedy. The local colour makes it a great summer read. Miller is a reporter banished by his editor for a drinking indescretion to the small Northern Irish town of Crossmaheart. There he encounters a disappearance and murder as well as a woman with a very troubled past. Like all Bateman's novels, this is worth reading.
May 06, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Depressing as hell, but very clever and entertaining. The story was brilliantly crafted and brilliantly told. Even the title was perfect because it worked on several levels. It wasn't just another depressing book - it was a heartbreaking, unforgettable tragedy. The story and characters are etched in my memory years later.
Aug 04, 2009 Gary rated it liked it
This is the second of his books I've read (the first being Mystery Man) and although I enjoyed the sense of humour and dark quality to the book I would have liked a less depressing ending - perhaps that's me being an old romantic at heart but I do like some smidgen of happiness in my endings.
Jan 23, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
This is one of the funniest books I've ever read - honest. It's a mystery set in war torn Ireland and I know that does not sound funny. You'll just have to trust me on this one.
Mike Worth
Jul 28, 2011 Mike Worth rated it really liked it
Have read most of his books and can't remember all exactly - just that I have never been let down and have enjoyed Mr Bateman's writing immensely
Hilarant !! Mon petit coeur s'est serré tout de même à la fin de l'histoire... Poor, poor Miller ! A very good moment of reading !
Aug 11, 2009 Bethany rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book & I sometimes give it as a gift. Very funny!
Michael Bolan
Mar 31, 2008 Michael Bolan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
The grimmest ending I've seen in a long time. Just what home is really like.
Big Shell
Jun 15, 2012 Big Shell rated it it was amazing
One of the gutsiest endings I've ever seen. Incredible, satisfying.
May 18, 2008 Kel rated it really liked it
Good book, even though it made me want to commit suicide.
Anne Graham
Oct 12, 2013 Anne Graham rated it really liked it
Read 'Divorcing Jack' first.
Jun 03, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2004-reads
RATING: 4.25
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Colin Bateman was a journalist in Northern Ireland before becoming a full-time writer. His first novel, Divorcing Jack, won the Betty Trask Prize, and all his novels have been critically acclaimed. He wrote the screenplays for the feature films of Divorcing Jack, Crossmaheart and Wild About Harry. He lives in Northern Ireland with his family.
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