Maine Irish Reads

Watching the Door: Drinking Up, Getting Down, and Cheating Death in 1970s Belfast by Kevin Myers

Part unofficial history, part personal memoir, Watching the Door is raw, provocative, and darkly funny, offering an unbridled account of sex, death, and violence in Northern Ireland by one of its most dynamic witnesses. A first-hand account of life on the streets of Belfast during the height of ‘the troubles’, as a young reporter witnesses the blood feuds and chaos of a divided society on the brink of civil war.

Kevin Myers was a young, wide-eyed, and naive outsider thrust into the thick of the conflict in Northern Ireland as it teetered on the brink of civil war. Quickly absorbed into the local community and privy to the secrets of both the Protestant and Catholic paramilitaries, Myers gained a unique perspective into both sides of the sectarian violence. Devoid of any political agenda, Myers describes the streets of Belfast at its bloodiest with searing clarity, capturing every inch of the city’s disturbing violence. Flirting with death at every turn, Myers comes of age as the world around him falls apart, fueled by the psychotic rage, senseless murder, and unrelenting terror that surround Northern Ireland’s loyalist gangs, paratroopers, police force, and, of course, average citizen.

Kevin Myers is an English-born journalist of Irish origin and a writer. He has contributed to the Irish Independent, the Irish edition of The Sunday Times, and The Irish Times‘s column “An Irishman’s Diary”

“Searingly honest and beautifully written.”

“Ghastly, hilarious, black with humour, black with death and cruelty, and lucid with humanity.”

“This is a book so remarkable that after finishing it you will find yourself casting the film that will surely get made.”

“Raw and memorable … sharp and laconic … A book that will be read after many others about that horrible turbulence are forgotten.”

“Kevin Myers recreates the moral and political slum that was Belfast, and dispels political illusions with irony and caustic wit. What a way to lose your youth.” — Christopher Hitchens

Coming Up!

Love by Roddy Doyle (Feb 15)

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Mar 21)

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (Apr 18)