The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity - a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of well-being and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.
"Funny, on point and cranky"
A British cabinet minister is gunned down on a London street by an IRA assassin. In the wake of national outcry, the authorities must find the hitman. But the trail is long cold, the killer gone to ground in Belfast, and they must resort to more unorthodox methods to unearth him. Ill prepared and poorly briefed, undercover agent Harry Brown is sent into the heart of enemy territory to infiltrate the terrorists. But when it is a race against the clock, mistakes are made and corners cut. For Harry Brown, alone in a city of strangers, where an intruder is the subject of immediate gossip and rumour, one false move is enough to leave him fatally isolated....
Michael Foley wants to understand why he doesn't appear to be experiencing as much fun as everyone else. So, with characteristic wit and humour, he sets out to understand what fun really means, examining its heritage, its cultural significance and the various activities we associate with fun. He investigates pursuits such as dancing, sex, holidays, sport, gaming and comedy and concludes that fun is not easy, simple and fixed, as many seem to believe, but elusive, complex and constantly changing.
Danny Curnow, known in the army family by his call sign, Vagabond, ran agents, informers. Now he lives in quiet isolation and works as a guide to tourists visiting the Normandy's D-Day beaches. But violence in Northern Ireland is on the rise again. The covert world was close to destroying Danny. Fifteen years later the stakes are higher, the risks greater, and Danny will have to prove that he is as hard and ruthless as before.
Sean McNally has sworn his oath to the IRA. But then he'd turned his back on the violence and the hatred, and gone south to the Republic. Life was good, until they came for him to do one last job. But in its aftermath, McNally is captured and is facing a lifetime's imprisonment. Unless he dares think the unthinkable...and becomes a tout. Lieutenant David Ferris hadn't wanted to join the army, but found himself in it anyway. In a cruel twist of fate, his path crosses that of Sean McNally's and he quickly becomes a pawn on the frontline of a brutally tense war of nerves.
In the villages and on the mountains of County Tyrone, in the heartland of the Provisional IRA's most active Brigade, the golden rule is 'Hear nothing, see nothing, know nothing'. To collaborate with British Intelligence is to invite an inescapable death sentence. But there is word on the mountain that inside the Brigade there is a 'tout', an informer. He will be identified, interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot.
When a delirious Irishman arrives in a Cornish harbour, baker Mary Kneebone takes him in, and soon the sick and gullible are queuing at her door. A wry comedy about faith, love and redemption from outstanding Cornish playwright Annamaria Murphy.