Repeat This and You're Dead
In Repeat This and You’re Dead, celebrated dramatist Lawrence Russell ventures for the first time into fiction. With gritty and unforgiving realism, these "short short stories" cast a harsh eye on the Ireland of the last half of this century, a country brutally divided while fiercely loyal to an ambiguous past and an even more turbulent future. With Russell’s characteristic black humour and gleeful sarcasm, the characters act out their fated lives on the public stage, stories narrated as repeated gossip, told with the casual nonchalance of a wanderer passing from room to room at a party to which he has not been invited. Russell’s unflinching mastery of irony refuses to allow his voice to slip into sentimentality or charitable fondness. These are the stories of untamed bullies, hapless farmers, unsteady veterans, greedy nephews, stuffy uncles, grubby urchins, haunted scavengers, ruthless money grubbers, clumsy terrorists, disenchanted lovers, desperate mothers, estranged sons and exiled eccentrics of every stripe–tales of the outcast and outraged. Russell’s style recalls the influences of Irish forefathers–the precision of Joyce, the absurdity of Beckett, and the mysticism of Yeats. Russell’s Ireland is not only fist fights and fanaticism, it is also the unimagined peace which occasionally resides in the hearts of the hopeful.