THEPLEASURESOFQUEUEING:ANOVEL ERIK MARTINY Mastadon Publishing, £15
Erik Martiny’s debut is a witty account of a Franco-Irish family living in Cork from the 1970s to the mid-1990s. It chronicles the sexual escapades of the parents, which result in the mother giving birth to no fewer than 27 children, which causes mayhem in the morning and at meal times. Privacy is impossible: even gaining access to a toilet is problematic. Martiny can spin a yarn and has a gift for comedy. He begins each chapter with a short summary of world news in the year about to be covered. Family incidents assume some of the epic qualities of the big news stories of the time. The father, a French academic, jealously holds on to his “Frenchitude”. The mother is a pious Irish Catholic, distinguished by “the almost unreserved pagan relish she has for sexual intercourse”. The stylistic pyrotechnics and gargantuan exaggeration can grate at times, but there is nonetheless a quality that draws one to the text and indicates that Martiny may well be a force to be reckoned with.