After six months he got his first posting overseas, in Cambodia. “In the beginning, there was a huge buzz when you were training on a firing range but it’s a different thing when you go to some of the places. The people are suffering and they don’t need you to act the ass-hole. With the rifle you’re carrying, you have the means to end life, so you don’t take it lightly.” In Cambodia, Padraig worked with the engineering section - defusing and removing landmines. After that he was sent to Bosnia, twice. He came across horrific scenes in Sarajevo - helpless orphans and people reduced to living like animals. As it says in the book, “Sarajevo seemed to suck the life out of you. It seemed to be a magnet for the very worst in human behaviour.”Which seems as good a place as any to quote Winston Churchill, out of context, on the ongoing tragedy that is the Balkans: “The Balkans produce more history than they can consume locally …”
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Soldier
There was a comprehensive piece on HIDDEN SOLDIER’S Padraig O’Keefe in last weekend’s Sunday Indo, in which the delectable Ciara Dwyer gave the former Foreign Legionnaire and erstwhile ‘security consultant’ in Iraq the third degree. Here followeth an excerpt:
Posted by Declan Burke at 12:01 PM