Karl Parkinson (2016)
Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9935803-0-7
The Blocks is a story of a visionary artist growing up in the inner city tower blocks of Dublin in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, with drug dealers and addicts, stolen cars, malign and benevolent spirits, fights and prostitutes. A story of family, friends, bands and poetry. A story about the redemptive power of art and love, and the quest to break free from spiritual suffering.
Karl Parkinson is a writer from inner-city Dublin. He is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed live literature performers and has read by invitation at festivals and events in Ireland, the UK, the US and Canada. In 2013, Wurmpress published Karl’s début poetry collection, Litany of the City and Other Poems, and his second poetry collection, Butterflies of a Bad Summer, was published by Salmon in 2016. The Blocks is his début novel.
Invoking the tenement rawness of James Kelman and shot through with the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez, while all the time tapping the poetic vernacular and hopscotch rhymes of inner-city Dublin, The Blocks is a maelstrom of ghosts, voices, sounds, and songs; a high-low, flip-flop, crash-and-burn, mind-bending paean to the theatre of flatland life in all its maddening, fearful and redemptive glory. A very fine achievement.
—Alan McMonagle, author of Psychotic Episodes (Arlen House)
Don’t be fooled into thinking The Blocks is only about a small inner-city community; it’s much more than that. Karl Parkinson has managed to recreate the sights, smells, sounds and feelings of a whole generation’s youth and young manhood through this ground-breaking riot of a book.
—Kevin Curran, author of Beatsploitation and Citizens (Liberties Press)
The Blocks takes us into a world largely unseen in Irish fiction: the high-rise flats of working class Dublin. Though the lives he chronicles are harsh and chaotic, Parkinson renders it all with delight, exuberance and a winning affection.
—Rob Doyle, author of Here Are the Young Men (Bloomsbury)