Cheap Tricks: Marsh Alley...

Clapboard denizens of Marsh alley clatter together where they overlap and bang in the wind. A fouled sheet of newspaper (tabloid) splats flat and adheres. One end to the other is no more than fifty metres but there’s no metric system chic here; we’re a long way from France or anywhere else worth being. A boxy space inveigles itself into the consciousness and there are soiled pallets and plastic, amorphous wrappings from long-gone industrial times, the era of Stealth Steel and hope in man and future. Now, there’s just threadbare, ashen expectation of more-of-the-same; hump away, you fallen chirpers…hump away....

Wedding Ring

And there, amidst the houseplants, The clipped and neatened leaves, Variegated velvet: The lifebuoy soap and rubber gloves, Shirts hanging off chairs, Half-ready, humble: There, beside the cutting board, A squared-away, box-shaped tower Of wayward, wayfaring CDs: The tell-tale glitter of a smartened sink And an airiness that heralds A refreshed (for now) and brightened kitchen; There, among the items of measure The wedding ring sits patiently, Awaiting rescue. R.H....

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini Sep13

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini...

This novel is told in retrospect: we meet an author named Amir who gets an unexpected phonecall from an old friend. This sets the scene for the rest of the story. We learn that, on a particular day far away in the past, an event occured that has shaped Amir’s life ever since. Anyone who’s read it will understand the devastating effect of this incident: it happens on the day of the kite running competition. Amir finally has an opportunity to win his father’s approval. He and his father Baba have an intriguing relationship because Baba, though a powerful man, doesn’t appear to show much affection for his son. The effects of this on Amir are profound. What’s supposed to be a great day marks the beginning of a long, arduous journey toward redemption. He is asked to face his demons but learns that “There is a way to be good again.” The book looks at Afghan culture, the problems with it, family issues, cultural differences between Afghanistan and the U.S., the fraternity shared by Afghans, as well as the discord they suffer, and a whole load of other really interesting facets to life. What Hosseini does best is enter the mind of his central character, Amir, and help the reader to understand his motives and the challenges he faces. He portrays both the good and bad sides to many characters. In this sense, he neither romantises nor demonises any of them. It offers an Afghan’s perspective on politics and the history of Taliban rule while setting the context very well by showing the before and after. One scene in particular of a stoning is quite disturbing  and, like other scenes, can be quite gut-wrenching. Relationships play a crucial role in the story. The...

Why World War III won’t happen…yet by Osama Shammary Sep13

Why World War III won’t happen…yet by Osama Shammary...

Recently I had many people telling me World War III will break out and here is my answer: NO, it will not. Just because some psycho threatened this, or some random dude committed suicide because he “foresaw” that, it doesn’t follow that the world will be thrown into chaos. Here are my main reasons why I don’t think it’s going to happen. 1. Russia is nowhere as strong as it used to be. Its weapons are outdated for the most part, and it is only capable of sneaky snake tactics, as shown already in Syria, where it even went as far as to send officers to Syria to train their soldiers in military tactics. Overlooking those huge reasons, I would also like to point out that Russia has no allies of use in a war. 2. The Middle East has much in-fighting and cannot summon the strength to do anything of use against anyone, plus the fact that Israel is acting as cancer, eating at them from the inside. They cannot do anything of significance against anyone since none of the countries have anything powerful, except for oil, which America will suck to the last drop like vampires before the last moment of Dawn. 3. China and North Korea are not a valid threat to America. Sure, China is a superpower and has a strong army, but it cannot compete with America in any sense. North Korea only hopes to threaten America by saying, “We know you will obliterate us, but we can take more punishment than you...

The Woods by Harlan Coben by Osama Shammary Sep13

The Woods by Harlan Coben by Osama Shammary...

The Woods by Harlan Coban is a book of many surprises I have to say. And, without giving the plot away, has many twists and turns. In some books you have one, rarely two plot twists; this book contains at least three. The story follows not one or two storylines but three, all three of which are very engaging, saddening or shocking. This is the kind of novel that is about uncovering the mysteries of the past. To be honest I never really liked this kind of story; the closest to mystery I read was horror, yet I enjoyed this book nonetheless. Without spoiling too much of the story here is a synopsis: There is an incident at a camp where some teens sneaked into the woods, and some were murdered. Years later one of the supposedly dead teens turns up as a fresh corpse in a mortuary. Two of the teens in the camp that summer (now adults) start investigating separately, then investigation leads them back together. One of those two had a sister who died in the incident, so when there is hope that she is not dead, he goes hot on her trail, clinging to any hope that she is alive. This book is an extraordinary piece of work and deserves 8/10 dancing skeletons. (Note: The measurement unit (Dancing skeleton) is a trademark of www.themuffindungeon.weebly.com You may not use this unit without being a member and asking permission of its leader Matthew Corrigan aka Matt aka Eyetooth aka Eyetooth...

Cork hurling by Conor Canavan Sep13

Cork hurling by Conor Canavan...

Not a lot was expected from the Cork senior hurlers this year. An All-Ireland semi-final was a realistic target for most fans. Even before a ball was pucked in this year’s league, this team was being written off by everyone in the county. Very few had expected that we’d be playing in September. Cork beat Tipp and drew with Waterford in the first two matches, a very good start. It all went downhill from there though and at the end of the league, they would be playing Clare in a relegation play-off in Limerick. Clare won by a couple of points and serious questions were being asked of the team. Is the fitness good enough? Is the team strong enough? Are we good enough to compete? Some people were even saying that Cork were the worst team in the Munster Championship; they’ve answered their critics brilliantly. They were drawn against Clare in the Munster semi-final. Clare were on a high after beating Waterford and to add to that, Cork were missing captain Pa Cronin and Lorcán McLoughlin. Clare were red hot favourites. Cork put in a massive second-half and they won 0-22 to 0-15. William Egan, Seamus Harnedy and especially Anthony Nash put in massive performances on the day. Limerick awaited in the Munster final. Limerick had beaten favourites Tipp to reach the final. Cork felt really hard done by at the end of the day because star forward Pat Horgan was wrongly given a straight red card just before half-time. Limerick pulled away in the last ten minutes and won 0-24 to 0-15. Because they lost the Munster final, Cork were drawn against the mighty Kilkenny in the All-Ireland quarter final. Kilkenny always raise their game against Cork, so I gave the team...