BOOK : Sunless
SUNLESS, Irish novelist Gerard Donovan's latest, is an unsettling tale about cruelty and its consequences. Already hailed as a minor masterpiece by critics in Ireland and the U.K., the author has completely revised the book for its U.S. release this month.
Focusing on America's drug dependency culture, and behind that on the unseen violence bedeviling the vast nation itself, Donovan's timely theme reminds us that some men must create pain in others to feel less of it in themselves. Julius, the novel's erratic and introverted subject, is cold blooded yet oddly sympathetic, a man wholly animated by a grievous wrong, in a book that's a chilling and occasionally bleakly funny read.
Sunless is published by Overlook Press.
MEAL : An Beal Bocht
SHOWCASING music, poetry, comedy, theater and art exhibits, An Beal Bocht is an unusual and first-rate performance space for emerging and established Irish talent - and a place to enjoy great food and drinks.
The friendly staff will give you a special Irish style welcome, and you'll feel like a regular after your first visit. Make a note of delicious lunch and dinner menus, and come back for their weekend brunches featuring an Irish breakfast worth traveling for.
An Beal Bocht is located at 445 West 238th Street in the Bronx. Call 718- 884-7127.
CONCERT : The Irish Tenors
THIS Sunday, December 9, the State Theatre of New Jersey (located in New Brunswick) presents Ireland's most famous singing trio, the Irish Tenors, in a very special Christmas show which starts at 7 p.m.
Featuring Anthony Kearns, Finbar Wright and Karl Scully, the three Irish singing talents will present a selection of classic holiday favorites including "We Three Kings," "O Holy Night," "White Christmas," "Joy to the World," "Ave Maria," "Silent Night," "Winter Wonderland," "First Noel," and many more.
Tickets prices range from $40-65 (group, college, and senior discounts are available). For tickets call 732-246-7469.
PLAY : The Devil's Disciple/A Child's Christmas in Wales
A DOUBLE order of tried and true classics will round out the Christmas season at the Irish Repertory Theatre in New York this month.
On the main stage is George Bernard Shaw's melodramatic and withering perennial The Devil's Disciple. It's an Irishman's expose of entrenched English hypocrisy, where lofty ideals are supposedly adhered to, and reality is never countenanced.
For tickets call 212-757-3318.
BIG THING : Pat Shortt
FATHER Ted, if you don't already know, was one of the seminal Irish comedy shows of the 1990s. A surreal and genuinely hilarious send up of the Irish holy orders, it scandalized some and delighted many others, and it featured a Marx Brothers level of freewheeling lunacy that has retained all of its freshness and its ability to entertain.
This week, why not visit Friends of Ted online to rekindle the flame and sign up for the annual Father Ted convention to be held on Inis Mor island on the west coast of Galway in February? You can enjoy three days of riotous activities with other Ted-ites, including the Father Jack cocktail evening, a priests and nuns five- a-side tournament, the lovely girls contest and charity auction.
As they say on Father Ted, "Ah go on, go on, go on, you know you want to."
To visit log on to www.friendsofted.org