Bad Day In Blackrock
By: Kevin Power
Winner of the Rooney prize, 2009.
Adapted for Film as ‘What Richard Did’ (2012)
“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
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 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. It is a significant debut by an intuitive writer.