Abandoned by his mother, neglected and abused, especially by his awful cousin Agnes, life will never be the same again for the ultra-imaginative, young Billy Sikes when his mysterious half-brother Herbert suddenly arrives into it and Agnes disappears. Set in Ireland in the 1970s, Billy tells his extraordinary story, first as a child, and then as a, seemingly, delinquent teenager, to a background noise of the preaching of the Catholic Church, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the war in Vietnam, the warbling of popular music and the wisdom of his revered, older, cousin Anna.
Dublin in the 1970s … as you might never have imagined it! Life and death, heaven and hell and everything in between. Gangs of marauding skinheads, persecuted dwarfs, put-upon amateur dramatists and discommoded vagrants, vengeful rats, mythical icons and fictional heroes, all surfacing in a river of consciousness that James Joyce, himself, could have been proud of.
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Eddie Smyth made his first recorded appearance in Dublin, Ireland in 1961, where, he says, apart from a couple of cameo roles elsewhere, he wasted most of his youth. He has worked as a stores and warehouse operative, forklift driver, motorcycle courier, and as a door-to-door and telephone sales person. Writing since about aged five, while still in his earlier years at primary school he won a national award for a story he penned for an Irish newspaper. His novel The Prince was published in 1996.
Considering his influences to be musical, he has been known to play it loudly whilst he writes, as well as literary, citing the lyrics of David Bowie, Talking Heads and The Psychedelic Furs, he was inspired by the irreverence and anti-establishment ethos of the Punk Rock movement.
A committed swimmer, vaper, table tennis and poker player, Eddie has since re-located to the village of Slane, in the county of Meath.