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Bad Day in Blackrock

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  39 reviews

On a late August night a young man is kicked to death outside a Dublin nightclub and celebration turns to devastation. The reverberations of that event, its genesis and aftermath, is the subject of this extraordinary story, stripping away the veneer of a generation of Celtic cubs, whose social and sexual mores are chronicled and dissected in this tract for our times. The v
Paperback, 234 pages
Published 2008 by Liliput Press
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Andrew Mcq
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is a fictionalised re-telling of a real life event, the killing of a young man outside a Dublin nightclub. Power has re-worked many of the details, something which has irked some reviewers. However, the established facts have been well documented, and by distancing himself from them Power has, in my opinion, allowed himself to concentrate on the context rather than on journalistic reporting.

The key element therefore is the picture painted of the privileged world of southside school an
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Bleak but insightful look at the lives of the children of the Irish middle class. Based on a real event, this got embroiled in a bit of controversy but don't get distracted by trying to match the fictional events to the real-life ones - this book is too important for that. This is also the author's first book and while it has a little of that first-book clunkiness you sometimes find with young writers, it's a real achievement. Reminds me a little of the work of Jay McInerney and ...more
Marta Simona
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a quick read, a solid 4 star book for me. I couldn't understand what was up with the narrator of this book, but I liked how it all came together in the end. I enjoyed the simple writing style. It was mostly interesting, but repetitive at times. ...more
Jun 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
I didn't enjoy this at all. Kevin Power saw a story on the telly, so he said "If I turn this into a book and change the names, while adding loads of "he might have", "maybe he", "we don't know" blah blah blah tabloid type nonsense, I can haz monies".

If he wrote this as a true story, there could have been the potential for a decent book, but he didn't. He has added so much nonsense, it reads like 250 page article in the Daily Star.
Deece de Paor
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What I found striking about this is that it preceded all the terrible guilty tv pleasures such as Made In Chelsea and nothing amongst the aristocracy has changed in the intervening years. They still take their privilege for granted, misogyny runs high and still there’s no consideration for the human toll on putting men on a rugby field and expecting them to act one way and then in a completely different way outside of the rugby pitch. This was an interesting social commentary, not least because ...more
Alby Blazo
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
“This is the worst thing that ever happened to us. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.”
With these words, Power's story caught me. The reader is whisked along by an unreliable narrator who refuses to identify himself until the very end, who repeatedly tells us that he has no answers and wasn't even present for many of the events, indicating that much of the story is second- or third-hand information. The facts are laid out in a meandering path that slowly adds up to an uncertain f
Mark Nolan
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that became the movie 'What Richard Saw'. A great insight into southside Dublin and its private school culture. Essential reading for any northsider or culchie! ...more
Jane Long
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful book, based on a true life incident. Didn't realise until the end it was actually told by a brother of one of the accused. It makes you wonder about who think what's important. ...more
Jillian Brenner
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great and unique contemporary work. The use of first person for a narrator we learn so little of is an interesting authorial choice that I thought paid of well.
Paula Maguire
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this book with my son Luke as I loved it so much and I wanted to share it with him as it's about young men and set in Dublin where I grew up. I can't believe I had not reviews this book first time around as I found it very moving, gripping and a fantastic portrait of the snobbery of south County Dublin. The book is loosely based a true story of private school rugby lads who 'got away' with murder through their connections and class, but this book shows that nobody gets away with it ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish, 2014
Bad Day in Blackrock tells the story of a young man kicked to death in a fight outside a Dublin nightclub. Power's narrator recounts these events and their aftermath from the viewpoints of the different players in the tragedy. Those involved in the fracas, their friends, the families of the victims and those of the accused all share the spotlight. Power is not judgmental; none of his characters are out-and-out villains, and few are blameless, either.

The book is a cold, hard look at privilege and
Seán Rafferty
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-lit
It's an incisive dissection of the 'privileged' young Irish adult. I note that many have said that it is non-judgemental which is nonsense. Although written in a spare, lean style and his language avoids tagging his characters with judgemental adverbs or adjectives, his disdain and anger at these 'goys' and girls is palpable. He very effectively undermines a culture that is at the heart of the Irish legal and banking system. The old school tie mentality is exposed for what it is and the 'rugger ...more
A fictionalised telling of events similar to a news story that unfolded in the days of the Celtic Tiger. A young man was kicked and beaten to death in the early hours of the morning outside a Dublin nightclub. What made this drunken fracas different from the routine drunken attacks of a Dublin weekend were two things: the three primary suspects were the children of some of Ireland's weathliest and most well-connected citizens, and a code of silence descended among the some-two-dozen witnesses sh ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have to admit i was quite confused about midway when i realised i had no idea who the person was who was narrating this story, thought i might have missed it from the start, but all becomes clear by the end. Wasn't quite sure what to expect from this one, it follows from the death of a young man in an altercation outside a nightclub. Why did the fight take place, who exactly was involved, what happens next? It explores the privilege lives of the moneyed elite of South Dublin.
It was a bit short,
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remember when this "incident" took place in Dublin. I also remember the rather biased reporting and the subsequent down-playing of the actions of the main perpetrators of the horrific killing of a young man. This book truly captures the flavour of the time and the way in which a group of well-to-do people in South Dublin formed a protective ring around themselves to a disgraceful degree. Personally, I think this is well worth a read, particularly for someone who, like me, grew up in South Dubl ...more
Sandy May
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Angela Roberts
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book in a bargain basket in my local bookshop, took it home, forgot about it for a few weeks then picked it up one evening and didn't put it down until it was finished. the story begins with the tragic murder of a young university student outside a nightclub in Dublin, and, in trying to resolve the crime, highlights the differences in the class system that still exists in today's society. I found out at the end that this was actually based on a true story, although how much of it re ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked a rather loose film adaptation of this, Lenny Abrahamson's "What Richard did". Not only was it very interesting to compare the film and this book that reconstructs a "manslaughter" in a manner reminiscent of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood". The book actually is (IMHO) better than Capote's famous classic. It's a one-hit wonder from an author who shows no interest to ever write another book - even though he even got awarded for this. Great! ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Conor Harris a young man from a privileged background in Dublin is beaten and kicked to death outside a nightclub by others from privileged backgrounds. Kevin Power's powerful first novel lays bare the world of Dublin's elite and in particular that city's public schools. Based on a true story no one emerges from this tale unscathed or blameless. A real page-turner I hope to see more from this writer soon. ...more
Michael LeGrand
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Power uses the foundation of a true event, the assault and death of a young man outside of a Dublin nightclub by young men of wealthy background to explore elitism, the destroyed futures of those involved, and the suffering of both the victim's and accusers' families. The book is written as a narrative and explores all sides, not blaming any singular party in particular but also not absolving any either. Excellent book. ...more
A young man is beaten up and killed by 3 of his peers. This is a story of the South Dublin elite. They go to the right schools, play rugby, date girls from within their 'class', but one night it all goes wrong. Based on a true story, it gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the young people of the wealthy South Dublin set. ...more
Nov 09, 2008 rated it liked it
well done kev. book has really been sticking in my mind, especially as i was walking past all the huge houses in ranelagh last night. parts were VERY familiar of what life looked like to some of those UCD private school types. when's the next book? ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable novel that gives an eye in on a certain segment of Dublin society in the boom years of the early 2000s. I admired the clinical detailing of even mundane things that might matter, and the creeping grief and bleakness of the narrative.
Nathan O'hagan
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a brilliant, powerful and insightful look into the murder of a Dublin teenager by a group of his contemporaries, and the events surrounding it. a shocking portrayal of Dublin's young, privileged nouveau riche. best contemporary novel I have read in a very long time. ...more
Margaret Friday
Interesting story about posh Dublin kids. However, characters lack depth (oh-so-perfect Richard, oh-so-perfect Laura, fate was so cruel to them) and repeating over and over certain phrases and adjectives is just annoying. Overall, decent modern novel.
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Thought this was quite badly written, I skimmed through and eventually gave up. A shame as I had quite a prurient interest in the story, along with the half the country I'm sure. ...more
Roger Payne
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book sadly is about troubles we get in life time
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one twelve hour sitting. A book with purpose and importance.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think the story could have been told in about 75 pages less.
Mar 16, 2016 added it
This is a book about entitlement
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Author of Bad Day in Blackrock (Lilliput Press, 2008; Pocket Books, 2010), filmed as What Richard Did (Element Films, 2012). PhD in American Literature. Lectures in English & Creative Writing in the School of English, Dublin City University. Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2009 and the Hennessy XO Award for Emerging Fiction 2008. Writes regularly for The Sunday Business Post and Li ...more

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