EXCERPT: It’s estimated that in 2011 there were 2,881 semi or unoccupied housing developments in Ireland. There was a time when we put our faith in euros, shares and the sanctity of brick. A time when we bought our books from stores as big as barns and ate strawberries from Andalusia, when only a generation before, they’d been grown on farms up the road. The wide avenues of Boomtown were named for trees when there was grand optimism for growth. Now nothing booms in Boomtown. It’s bust and broken.
EXCERPT: I like visceral, bone-chilling horror as much as the next psycho. I relish the intensity of Silence of the Lambs or The Shining, or nail-biters like Halloweenor Dean Koontz’s Watchers. But one of my favorite scenes in any suspense movie comes from Pulp Fiction; John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson with a young kid hostage in the back seat of their car. Travolta and Jackson are arguing about something utterly inane, and Travolta turns around, forgetting he has a loaded gun in his hand. He asks the kid for his opinion . . . and accidentally blows his head off. Shocking, completely unexpected, and unspeakably hilarious.