Goodreads Ireland discussion

36 views
Previous Quarterly Reads > Feb - Apr 15 Quarterly Read: The International

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) This is the discussion thread for our February - April quarterly read The International by Glenn Patterson

A spoiler thread will be opened in due course.


message 2: by Allan (new)

Allan Great to see the group choosing a NI interest read!

This novel probably ranks as my favourite ever, though for thematic reasons more than anything, which will become apparent to those that know me when reading. Glenn Patterson has been described as Belfast's 'prose laureate', and he's without doubt my favourite novelist.

I look forward to rereading this for the first time in about 5 years, and discussing it with the group!


message 3: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) This will probably be the first of the two quarterlys I read since I've read Dracula before. It sounds interesting. Could be the end of the month before I get to it though as there is a monthly and in person bookclub book to be read first.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

At some point I will read this but at the moment I am overwhelmed with books 'owned but unread'. A not unknown problem!


message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments The nice thing about quarterly reads is that we have 3 months!


message 6: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments I've just had a look around to see where I could locate a copy. Interestingly enough, it is less expensive to buy a paperback from Kennys than it would be to buy it as an e-book. Anyway, once I get it, I'll look forward to the conversation about it; I really liked the description of it.

Allan, which novel do you like better--The International or Eureka Street?


message 7: by Allan (new)

Allan I probably like The International better, but it's a completely different book, and my reasons for liking this one are more personal.

Patterson's book Fat Lad would be more comparable to the Wilson in their portrayal of the contemporary Belfast of the early 90s-it's a book I read about 15 years ago, and like a lot of his earlier books, deserves a reread on my part.


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "I probably like The International better, but it's a completely different book, and my reasons for liking this one are more personal.

Patterson's book Fat Lad would be more comparab..."


I am waiting for a copy of Belfast Photographic Memories that I ordered to see what The International looked like. I am pretty sure I have Fat Lad by Patterson and should put it in my TBR soon pile.


message 9: by Allan (new)

Allan Barbara, I'm not sure whether the book will have a picture of The International (formerly the Union) hotel, whose address was 6-7 Donegall Square South, but I did a bit of a search and found a picture of the building next door, taken before it was demolished in the 1980s. You can see what was The International to its right.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/573867

This message board post suggests that the building on the right is the International, which fits in with the first picture.

http://www.belfastforum.co.uk/index.p...


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Thanks Allan. You'd imagine that photographic histories would be easier to find but reading the posts, it helps me appreciate the details Patterson had to track down.


message 11: by Allan (last edited Jan 31, 2015 02:21AM) (new)

Allan Barbara, you may find that he used Buildings Of Belfast, 1700 1914, which he mentioned in an article was 'indispensable', for his research, but I'm not sure-I've got the book in my Amazon basket, but at £20 second hand, it's one that I'll look for in the second hand bookstore in Belfast, hoping they don't realise its value (which tends to be the case a lot of the time!).


message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "Barbara, you may find that he used Buildings Of Belfast, 1700 1914, which he mentioned in an article was 'indispensable', for his research, but I'm not sure-I've got the book in my A..."

Wouldn't you love to see Patterson's library?


message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan I'd say that it'd be great, but the one that I'd really love to see is Patricia Craig's-I heard her being interviewed one time about it, and she had a silly amount of titles, most no doubt of interest to us!


message 14: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "I'd say that it'd be great, but the one that I'd really love to see is Patricia Craig's-I heard her being interviewed one time about it, and she had a silly amount of titles, most no doubt of inter..."

I can imagine! Between her anthologies, and everything else she may rival The Linen Hall.


message 15: by Allan (new)

Allan This clip includes Glenn Patterson reading from the novel, close to the site on which the hotel was once situated.

Glenn Patterson on Donegall Square: http://youtu.be/laRNBwq_cIA


message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "This clip includes Glenn Patterson reading from the novel, close to the site on which the hotel was once situated.

Glenn Patterson on Donegall Square: http://youtu.be/laRNBwq_cIA"


I highly recommend the youtube clip Allan links above. While you're at it, watch all 16 videos in Literary Belfast.


message 17: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments My copy came in the mail today.Hopefully I'll get to it soon.


message 18: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I'll be starting this over the next day or so. I haven't read really any NI fiction other than Lies of Silence for my Leaving so it should be interesting.


message 19: by Serf (new)

Serf Started this a few days ago and it has me hooked. Would be finished only work keeps preventing me lol


message 20: by Allan (new)

Allan Glad to read that you're enjoying the book so far, Seraphina.

Emma, knowing that you didn't enjoy the Moore novel, I hope you find this one more to your liking.

I picked up the 'bookends' edition of the novel today for £2, so that I could read the Anne Enright essay on the book, and Glenn Patterson's piece at the end on his writing of the book. I still think I'll read my original edition of the novel itself though!


message 21: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I suspect if I reread Moore now I'd probably enjoy it more. I was 17 when I read it and had to analyse it in depth.


message 22: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) I started this properly this morning and made reasonable inroads. I suspect it will be a quick enough read. I only have Lies of Silence to set it against in terms of NI literature. I'm enjoying this far more. Lies is extremely dark. This is much lighter so far and more relatable. Danny's descriptions of The International, the staff and the customers are quite funny.

I think most people in the group will enjoy it, and conveniently it requires no real knowledge of Northern Irish history. Obviously those familiar with Belfast, the history, politics and figures may get more out of it, but those who aren't certainly won't be lost.

On that note I found Danny's comments on Ian Paisley amusing.

"Ian Paisley was basically a joke that became less funny each time you heard it. In fact he was so unfunny now it was starting to hurt, very badly. Whether he was dropped on his head when he was a baby or what, his eyes saw catastrophe at every turn"


message 23: by Serf (new)

Serf I enjoyed that comment aswell Emma :)


message 24: by Allan (new)

Allan Isn't it frightening that we had another 40 years and more to endure him up here?

On the Paisley theme, these posters of both he and his son entitled 'Doctored Paisley' have been appearing in the Cathedral Quarter recently. I don't know whether the Paisley with the punt face or his son as Kim Jung Il is more bizarre...

http://www.ornamentalhermit.com/

It's my intention to start my reread at some stage this week-I'm very much looking forward to it.


message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Although some Americans might expect people in all parts of Ireland to know a lot about other regions, I think we are no different. I haven't read much Southern literature and only read To Kill a Mockingbird last year due to THIS group - GRI.


message 26: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Allan wrote: "Isn't it frightening that we had another 40 years and more to endure him up here?

On the Paisley theme, these posters of both he and his son entitled 'Doctored Paisley' have been appearing in the..."


Truly scary!


message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Barbara wrote: "Although some Americans might expect people in all parts of Ireland to know a lot about other regions, I think we are no different. I haven't read much Southern literature and only read [book:To Ki..."

Only last year? That's amazing Barbara


message 28: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) Thanks for the link Allan. They are certainly interesting.


message 29: by Marylee (new)

Marylee MacDonald (marylee_macdonald) | 7 comments I started reading it last night, and I'm enjoying the way he introduces us to the characters, each with a memorable tic or physical attribute, such as the receptionist with one leg shorter than the other.


message 30: by Donna (new)

Donna McCaul Thibodeau (celtic_donna) | 1141 comments Could somebody tell me what a salad sandwich is?

My show just finished and I am looking forward to reading a bit more. Although I did do a fair bit in my dressing room!


message 31: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn A salad sandwich is a sandwich consisting usually of lettuce, scallions/onions, sometimes coleslaw or egg or mayo. If you add meat it becomes a chicken salad or ham salad sandwich. There are no specific ingredients but rather a mixture of the above. Why? :-)


message 32: by Donna (new)

Donna McCaul Thibodeau (celtic_donna) | 1141 comments It's in the book. The main character talks about it, saying someone orders one. Thanks Trelawn.


message 33: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Trelawn wrote: "A salad sandwich is a sandwich consisting usually of lettuce, scallions/onions, sometimes coleslaw or egg or mayo. If you add meat it becomes a chicken salad or ham salad sandwich. There are no spe..."

I remember them as basically lettuce sandwiches - from back in the day before Dublin got trendy:) they seemed kind of pointless to me.


message 34: by Donna (new)

Donna McCaul Thibodeau (celtic_donna) | 1141 comments When we were in Baltimore, Ireland I ordered a ham sandwich, thinking it might come on buttered bread. But no. The condiment they chose was ketchup. I almost spat it out!


message 35: by Paul (new)

Paul I'd be annoyed if I got a ham sandwich with Ketchup as well ☺ Strange choice by whoever made it


message 36: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn I like ketchup as much as the next person, but on a ham sandwich?? ick!


message 37: by Kevin (new)

Kevin I'd be a red sauce (ketchup) fan, even putting it in curry sometimes, but they should be shot for that.


message 38: by Serf (new)

Serf Brown sauce is the only thing u can put in a ham sandwich


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul Mustard all the way


message 40: by Donna (new)

Donna McCaul Thibodeau (celtic_donna) | 1141 comments Thank you my friends! My faith in Ireland has been restored! :)


message 41: by Paul (new)

Paul Red sauce in Curry . Why????
Crazy


message 42: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Well, red sauce and curry really. In my defence it was an accident and I like to thing of it as most people's ice cream and chips thing


message 43: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) This discussion is reminding me of the Hellmanns ad.

Back in the world of the book, I'm nearly finished. I expect to finish it today or tomorrow. I was reading about Fitz and Clive's dinner last night and had to laugh at the reference to Charles Haughey.


message 44: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn No Kevin it's just wrong.


message 45: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Not giving me any chance at all there Trelawn :)


message 46: by Trelawn (new)

Trelawn Some things are just not right Kevin, best to accept it and move on :-)


message 47: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Emma wrote: "This discussion is reminding me of the Hellmanns ad.

Back in the world of the book, I'm nearly finished. I expect to finish it today or tomorrow. I was reading about Fitz and Clive's dinner last ..."


Haughey's always good for a laugh!


message 48: by Sherry (new)

Sherry | 21 comments I haven't finished the book yet because as usual I pick it up and read it in-between my middle school reads. What I love so far is the humor though. It has that same ironic humor that Eureka Street had (which I believe someone already mentioned). I think there are quite a few
Northern Irish writers who have become masters at poking fun at the absurdity of their situation while still recognizing the tragedy of it all.


message 49: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Sherry wrote: "I haven't finished the book yet because as usual I pick it up and read it in-between my middle school reads. What I love so far is the humor though. It has that same ironic humor that Eureka Stre..."

Eureka Street is one of my absolute favorite novels about Belfast and I am glad you are enjoying The International.


message 50: by Allan (new)

Allan I love Eureka Street as well, but think that it is more of a piece of satire than The International, where the humour is delivered more through the wit of the characters than by the author's observation.

Patterson and Wilson are friends, and lived a few doors up from each other in Rathgar Street off the Lisburn Road, while Wilson wrote Eureka Street and Patterson wrote The International's predecessor, Fat Lad, which I'm in the mood for rereading in the near future...


« previous 1
back to top