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the ledge returns

I just finished the new Ross O'Carroll-Kelly book and my God, it's hilarious. As Ross's adventures appear weekly in the publication which employed me for five years, I used to follow them avidly, but I stopped reading the paper once I stopped working for it, so I am quite behind the times. Which means the book was all new to me. And it's wonderfully, hysterically funny, and fearfully spot-on. Ross has discovered that he has a secret skanger love-child called Ronan, who speaks like Ronnie Drew and whose every utterance made me laugh aloud. Usually I hate phonetic depictions of working-class speech, but not when the posh southside accent is skewered so magnificently too (and as someone who shamefully shares Ross's "mushy t's", even though I pronouce the word "right" as "rysh" not "roysh", I suppose my own middle-class northside accent is in there too). Which is the case here. And the rendering of Ronan's words of wisdom is so accurate (which is seldom the case in patronising working-class phonetically-written dialect) that it's impossible to resent them. Anyway, strongly recommended to everyone who doesn't like thick-necked rugby players, and possibly even those who do.

In other news, it's the middle of the day and it's so dark I have the lights on. And it's raining. Was it just yesterday that Patsington and I went on a jolly walk through the sunny park (and the new wild bit of woodland at the back of it which is now open to the public), marvelling at the gorgeous Autumn weather and the myriad colours of the Autumnal foliage? It's hard to believe now, looking out at the gloom. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, my arse. Or even orse.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2005 12:23 pm (UTC)
The sad thing is that so many people who read R O'CK don't realise that he's meant ironically. I read an interview with the author where he said that he's heard of groups of Southside Youths re-enacting Ross's antics.
Oct. 18th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
Having been to school in the heart (or should that be the hort?) of D4, it is amusingly accurate. Father Fehily reminds me of one of our priests...who, while not the principal, was crazed when it came to rugby, and gave preferential treatment to the Senior Cup Team. Then there's the students who had their fees paid to stay back a year and play for the team, despite very good Leaving results, the ex students who came back to coach, etc etc. And that's not including the very snobbish attitude towards all things Northside, it really is an accurate picture of my alma mater (and I'm quite certain other schools as well), with a bit of exageration thrown in for good measure.

I have heard that Ross is an icon with students in schools like Castlerock - to the point where they drive to places like Tallaght and shout "Affluence!", or "The Breadline!!", out the window, as depicted in the books...
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
Did you perhaps go to the school that we all think Castlerock is based on?

I have heard the author tell the story about people shouting 'Affluence!' a few times, but I think it was probably a once-off that he was surprised by, and that's why he keeps telling the story.

I used to work with a really nice girl from Mount Anville (A Mountie!!), and she said that she and her friends are always going 'Oh My God! That's sooo true to life!', but they still know it's a caricature and think it's funny.
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
Heh, it has just struck me that you have gone out with TWO boys from the school Castlerock is based on! And you love animals! YOU ARE SORCHA!
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:21 pm (UTC)
I should add that I know the boys in question aren't quite the 'Rock stereotype, but still....
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
I must admit if I hear someone went to blackrock they've got a lot of work to do to make me think they are worth knowing. Probably a chip from the way they used to treat girls from Pill Hill.
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Never let it be said that I'd touch a state-school boy with a barge pole!

Oct. 18th, 2005 02:03 pm (UTC)
Sorry! The placement of this comment makes it look like it's not a joke! I was replying to stellanova teasing me about my (ACCIDENTAL & COINCIDENTAL!) penchant for private school boys when I was in college, though I was a northside convent girl myself.
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:00 pm (UTC)
And two from Belvedere before that. Ah, the rugby schools!
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Hee! I went out with an Andrew's boy, of course, but there my romantic connection with posh southside schools ends. Of course, I did then go out with someone who went to Rory Gilmore and Logan Huntzberger's alma mater, but there's no rugger connection there!
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)
I have been sadly lax as well! One CUS boy!
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
I know the school is meant to be Blackrock, due to the similarity with Castle rock, but I've never heard my school (St. Michaels) mentioned in any of the books (whereas other real-life schools are mentioned), which does make me wonder if in fact it was the real Castlerock. At any rate, it's close enough - the same order of priests and it was a feeder for Blackrock before it expanded to do Leaving Cert.

We had some Mounties (a real life nickname, and the awful mock motto was "collars up, knickers down", which I also think was mentioned in the book!) in the school as well at various times - school plays and the like. Those of us using the "Dorsh", of which I was one, would have known a few Alex girls. Ah, the memories. I'll be 10 years out next year. Which means I'll be contacted into going back for the past pupils reunion, no doubt.
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
stellanova tells me that our local boys' school (the one we did plays with etc) is mentioned in the new Ross O'C-K book -- they're the uppity northsiders who he thinks shouldn't be allowed to play rugby!
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:07 pm (UTC)
St. Pauls! I saw that in the columns, which I read every week!
I went there for music lessons (with a sister of stellanova!).
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
Never fear, your alma mater is mentioned in the new book! Ross is now the coach of the 'Rock team and leads them to victory against St Michael's.
Oct. 18th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
Oh right, I didn't remember them being mentioned!
Oct. 18th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
Then there's the students who had their fees paid to stay back a year and play for the team, despite very good Leaving results

Oh my God, seriously? I always thought that was pure invention!
Oct. 18th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, a guy from my year did well in his Leaving, getting about 450 points. Gossip had it that he applied for his course during the exam year, got it and deferred his place for the year. He spent the year on the St. Michael's SCT (he was on it in my final year as well), and the team didn't do all that well either! What a waste of a year (imho), he could have gone to Australia or something, but he spent it in Dublin playing rugby!
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
Alas for accents! I too say "rysh", of course. And yesterday my students were decrying the odd pronunciation guides given for Hebrew vowels - "This is rubbish!" they cried, especially after seeing two different tables, one assuming that people spoke with N. East Seaboard US accents and one assuming people spoke with very posh Oxford accents. After which the lesson naturally devolved into everyone speaking in a more-West-Brit-than-thou sort of way. I think I need tasers to keep them in line.
Oct. 18th, 2005 01:59 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear the book is good, the little freebie "mini book" in Sundays paper was a bit of a letdown (well, towards the end anyway).

Have you read "P.S. I Scored the Bridesmaids"? (It ends at the wedding where the news about Ronan comes out). I actually wept with laughter at the account of Ross "surfing" in Australia...

Also I love the piss-take of all the Irish names!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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