Bad Day In Blackrock
By: Kevin Power
Bad Day in Blackrock was winner of the Rooney prize, 2009.
Adapted for Film as ‘What Richard Did’ (2012)
On a late August night a young man is kicked to death outside a Dublin nightclub. Celebration turns to devastation. The reverberations of that event, its genesis and aftermath, is the subject of this extraordinary story. The novel strips 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 victim, Conor Harris, his killers – three of them are charged with manslaughter – and the trial judge share common childhoods and schooling in the privileged echelons of south Dublin suburbia. The intertwining of these lives leaves their afflicted families in moral free fall as public exposure merges with private anguish and imploded futures.
This stark, elliptical tale tells of catharsis and self-examination through the eyes of the narrator and Laura Haines, girlfriend, confidante and catalyst. Akin to Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, John Banville’s The Book of Evidence and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, it deals with the unacceptable, and the nature of truth. Like all good fiction, it illuminates a society and transcends its age with the searchlight of a sympathetic imagination. Bad Day In Blackrock is a significant debut by an intuitive writer.
“Kevin Power is an author of magnificent control, stirring the deepest compassion with restless anger in this piercing contemporary novel.” – Frank McGuinness
“It’s an excellent novel, there’s no two ways about that. It comes from the gut, it’s raw, it’s passionate … a compulsive read.” – John Boyne, The Irish Times
‘This is a disturbing book and a truly fine one, when was the last time an Irish novel made us properly uncomfortable? This novel marks the debut of a deeply moral and probing writer – and a potentially great one.” – Dermot Bolger, Sunday Business Post
“A powerful debut and one of the most exciting Irish novels in years.” – Peter Murphy, Hot Press
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Power is a writer and critic. He was born in 1981 and attended University College Dublin where he received his BA in 2002 and his MA in 2003 His novel Bad Day in Blackrock was published by The Lilliput Press, Dublin, in 2008 and filmed in 2012 as What Richard Did. Power has been the recipient of many prizes including the Hennessy XO Award for Emerging Fiction, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was Creative Writing Fellow at St Patrick’s college from 2014-2016. His writing has featured in various publication s such as The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, New Irish Short Stories (2011), Los Angeles Review of Books, The Irish Times, Literary Review, Irish Journal of American Studies, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, and The Dublin Review of Books. He writes regularly for The Sunday Business Post. . In 2013 he completed a PhD in American Literature and went on to become an Assistant Professor in the School of English at Dublin City University from 2017-2018. He currently teaches on the MPhil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin and his current research focuses on the fields of 20th and 21st century American literature and film; contemporary Irish literature; and science fiction.