The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad

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Synopsis of The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad

The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad, A Mostly Irish Farce was published under the title Rückkehr nach Killoyle, Eine vorwiegend irische Farce in German translation in December 2002 (by Verlag Rogner und Bernhard, Hamburg). It will be published in English by Grove Press in 2003.

Mick McCreek and Anil Swain are neighbors in a block of flats in the lovely, nonexistent Irish city of Killoyle. Mick is a man's man—and a ladies' one, too, when occasion permits—but not much of a one for the old nine-to-five. Indeed, in the very first chapter he manages to get sacked from his job as car tester at Jocelyn Motors after running over a man at a traffic light. This leads to complications, personal and legal, from which Mick emerges, triumphant and mostly sober, at the end of a long meander into and out of various bedrooms, pubs, and places of employment. 

In the course of all this Anil Swain, formerly of Sandrapore, India, tries to take over by force the Indian restaurant where he is employed as a waiter. (Being a waiter confers a lowly status that embarrasses his snobbish wife Rubina, proud Brahmin.) This caper puts Anil in jail, from which he is released on bail by a father-and-son team of legal con artists, the O'Mallets père et fils, who need someone to drive a van full of weapons. The O'Mallets are on-and-off legal counsel and front men for the Provisional IRA, but they've gone greedy and decide to do a little number on the arms cache entrusted to them by the Hard Men up North, who want to pass as peacemakers (while still keeping the stuff handy, just in case). Complications ensue, bringing out of the woodwork sundry blackguards and international terrorists. By dint of total incompetence combined with sheer blind luck, Anil survives, barely; but the O'Mallets, who’ve been playing a very dangerous game, get their comeuppance.

Milo Rogers, poet, hotel manager, and anti-hero of Killoyle, returns by popular demand as the footnote commentator in The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad and graciously provides us in the final chapter with a summation of the entire narrative in mock-epic verse form, in which are parodied many styles of Irish verse through the ages, from the Tain to Patrick Kavanagh—and beyond.

The prologue and first chapter of the book are also available at this site.

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