Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wee Danny, by Gerard Brennan

Wee Danny
"Miss moves as if she knows I want her. She can read my thoughts sometimes. Sends me wee signals to prove it too. Like when the pencil rolled off her desk at the start of this class. It landed right in front of me. I pushed back my chair, ready to hand it to her, but she just raised her hand, cool as fuck. And then she stepped in front of me..." 

So opens Wee Danny, the novella that follows the continuing adventures of one of Brennan's Wee Rockets characters, Wee Danny Gibson. Danny is now separated from his Beechmount, Belfast cohorts and doing time in a home for a young offenders, but is within sight of release if he can just keep his act together. What are the odds, do you think?

Although a short tale, I think this marks a further development in Brennan's writing, as the first person narrative allows him to get further into the head of his protagonist than some of the earlier stories have done. I'd say that the earlier tales were more sociological and this one is more personal. There's a poignancy in moments that seems new to me. The friendship Danny forms with another incarcerated youth is very sweet, though in a tentative and far from sentimental way.

Shades of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as well as My Bodyguard but never derivative.


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