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The Anatomy School

by Bernard MacLaverty

A tale of 1960s Belfast told in two parts. Part one is full of rich characters and witty dialogue. Naive Martin and his friends, pre-occupied with the thorny issues of religion, sex and morality study for their A Levels under the watchful eye of various priests. There's brilliantly funny repartee, especially from the guests who join Martin's mother for her regular supper evenings. Part 2 touches on the troubles in Belfast and Martin's life after he leaves school but does not seem to be fully integrated into the novel as a whole and I felt a bit disappointed at the end.

Extract

'Here, Father, take a napkin,' said Mrs Brennan 'You wouldn't think black would stain but its nearly worse than anything else.'
'You're right there,' said Father Farquharson 'It practically highlights a stain.'
'I hope my shoes don't stain' said Mary Lawless 'The language of the young ones nowadays coming out of that pub - it would frighten you'.
'Merciful hour,' said Mrs Brennan 'They're a holy terror.'
'You were coming out of a pub, Mary?' said Nurse Gilliand.
'Indeed I was not. It was a crowd of young ones.'

Parallels

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
Emerald Germs of Ireland by Patrick McCabe
Father Ted by TV Series
 

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