- 02 May 17
Ciarán McMenamin’s debut novel Skintown is a hypnotic, alcohol soaked, adrenaline-fuelled rush of a book
It is the 1990s and we are in Northern Ireland. In a fit of drunken chivalry, 18-year-old lapsed Catholic boy, Vincent Patrick Duffy, gets into a car with two Protestant heavies, Grant and Kyle, who have promised to drop a young woman home. The atmosphere in the vehicle quickly becomes menacing, although an accident makes unlikely comrades of the three.
When the lads offer Vinny the chance to earn £500 slinging ecstasy, he sees it as a way out of the confines of his small town. McMenamin’s language is colourful, inventive, and at times wonderfully vulgar and funny. He courses through issues like sectarian violence, unemployment, alcoholism and disaffection, and most importantly, the loved-up, pill-popping early rave scene. McMenamin is a gifted storyteller and Skintown is an impressive debut.