Under Goliath

Registered by cluricaune of Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on 3/5/2023
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Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Armagh, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Sunday, March 5, 2023
Peter Carter was born in Manchester in 1929, the son of an Irish mother and an English father. He left school at fourteen, but later treturned to education and took a number of evening classes. In 1959, he won a place at Oxford University, studying English Literature/ He worked as a teacher until 1976, before becoming a full time writer. His books won a number of awards, including the Guardian Prize, two Young Observer Prizes and the German Preis der Leseratten. Under Goliath was first published in 1977 and was a commended runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. Carter died in 1999.

"Under Goliath" sees Alan Kenton look back to when he was thirteen years old. The Troubles were brewing but - as the book opens - they hadn't yet officially started. Alan lived in an Protestant part of town, but would have been seen as a slight outsider. His dad was English, someone who wasn't interested in taking either of the two traditional sides in NI. (He could see there was trouble brewing, and wanted to keep his family out of it). As a result, he wasn't impressed Alan joining an Orange marching band. (Alan, in fairness, wasn't at all interested in the history and trappings of the Orange Order's parades - all he wanted was to learn how to play a drum). Alan's brother, Billy, is even less interested in taking traditional sides - he's a committed member of his trade union and is a strong supporter of growing civil rights movement.

Shortly afterwards, Alan managers to make friends with Fergus Riley - a Catholic who lives both close by and a yet a whole world away. The friendship gets off to a rocky start, admitedlly, but it's cemented when they find a hidden gun. The secret cements the friendship - though, as time passes, it weighs heavily on their minds.

I was probably somewhere around Alan's age, when I first read this book, and - at that time - the Troubles were in full flow. Having re-read it now as an adult, the book feels every bit as authentic now as it did back then. A very well written book, and very much recommended. Both Peter Carter and this book should be much better known.

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune at Lurgan Train Station 🚉 in Lurgan, Co. Armagh United Kingdom on Sunday, March 26, 2023

Released 2 mos ago (3/26/2023 UTC) at Lurgan Train Station 🚉 in Lurgan, Co. Armagh United Kingdom


Table inside the station, Belfast side of the tracks.

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