Booknotes 28-12-2006

2006 will be remembered as the year when major novelists produced minor novels. A new direction is something a writer should always look for, but many didn't seem to know where they were going. Some went nowhere at all. Irvine Welsh's The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs, Roddy Doyle's Paula Spencer as well as Patrick McCabe's Winterwood were nothing new and smelt unmistakably of the re-cycling of tired old material.


Far from a fairytale

This latest volume on the Pogues rightly focuses on the band as a whole, not just on Shane MacGowan. An exhaustive and exhausting tome, it is engrossing, but definitely one for the converted. By Michael McCaughan

The writer's choice

Ten authors tell Village about their favourite books and why they mean so much to them. Compiled by Edward O'Hare

Mind your language

  • 13 December 2006
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Political weapon, tool of the elite, torture for schoolchildren. Caoimhghín Ó Croidheáin's thoughtful study is a welcome critique of the demotion of the Irish language. By Eamon Maher

Undermining the trust

A collection of essays about the late Douglas Gageby reveals how the loan to secure the independence of the Irish Times may have been used to undermine that independence. By Vincent Browne

Heavy hand

Michael Frayn may have weaved particle physics into a riveting drama but in The Human Touch he gets bogged down in trying to explain ‘life, the universe, and everything', says Max McGuinness

Book Notes 07-12-06

  • 6 December 2006
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Memories of the Misunderstood, Little Wonders and The Road to Nowhere reviewed by Edward O'Hare.