Journalist Dan Starkey, hero of Divorcing Jack, is back, a few Guinnesses past sober, but quick as ever with the sarcastic rejoinder - and this time his knack for adventure, and misadventure, takes him to the unsuspecting streets of New York City.
Starkey has signed on to cover the heavyweight title fight between the Irish national champion, Fat Boy McMaster, and Iron Mike Tyson. McMaster is a far cry from Evander Holyfield, but despite the hundred-to-one odds against them, the St. Patrick’s Day fight promises to be a monstrous payday for the entire Irish contingent: Fat Boy himself, his wife (the only Catholic in the whole bunch), his doddering trainer, his small-time manager, and his childhood chum turned recently unemployed terrorist. And it’s a lucky break for Starkey himself, who is more desperate than even this ragged bunch for a relaxing sojourn away from the bloody conflict of his homeland - and of his home itself, where his marriage is dissolving as quickly as the ceasefire.
But when the stakes are this high, the Big Apple has more to dish out than fat paychecks and peaceful vacations. At his pre-fight press conference, McMaster sets off racial and political mayhem when he makes a few ill-advised remarks about the preponderance of black people in New York City, incurring the immediate enmity of a Black Muslim paramilitary group.
As Starkey's quiet holiday crumbles, his chronicle morphs into a quick-paced thriller complete with kidnappings, inner-city commando operations, and an elaborately sinister whale-watching cruise - none of which is enough to stem the flow of Starkey’s crackling repartee. It turns out his sidesplittingly funny gallows humor is only that much more inspired when Starkey himself is barely dodging the hangman’s noose.
©2013 Colin Bateman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Colin Bateman writes wonderful stories the time spent reading them or usually listening usually just flys by, but when you read them, you read them with the Belfast accent of the protagonist. Hearing them spoken by someone who was Canadian take away from the experience.
All of Colin Bateman has two series taht are broadly similar, the Mystery Man series and the Dan Starkey series of which this is one.
I feel sure that the narrator is better suited to the North American metier. He struggles with some of the Ulster idioms, changing the sense of the book, sometimes adding hilarity where there shouldn't be. The pronunciation of fenian as 'finian' rather than 'feenyan' was a bit annoying. The characters taht weren't Northen Irish were African American, so again the Canadian accent was less of an issue, but still didn't feel right.
Thw Dan Starkey series would make for good TV, though it would need a predominantly Northen Irish cast. James Nesbit springs to mind, though he has been in another Colin Bateman series that transferred to TV - Murphy's Law .
"not my thing"
i don't know who might enjoy this. i found the story meandered and was just plain ridiculous at points, lacking wit and tension.
i found the narrator irritating via some really strange instances of pronunciation, and quite a few audible (sharp) breaths taken between sentences - and there were too many insults back-and-forth between characters, which just annoyed me. plus the main character's just an idiotic drunk.
i don't know - the story isn't great so the narrator didn't make that much of a difference.
Disappointment and anger: not worth it.
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