F for Ferg by Ian Cochrane review: it's grim up North

Browser review: grim portrait of life in a North of Ireland village

Sat, May 5, 2018, 05:00


Book Title:
F for Ferg


Ian Cochrane

Turnpike Books

Guideline Price:

Fergus Moore, decked out in an old school blazer and conservative haircut, has been living in a small Ulster village for three months before any of his contemporaries take any notice of him. A chance meeting at a postbox introduces the teenager to Johnny, a local lad whose father works in the factory Fergus’s father manages, and a close but uneasy friendship is born. Into their orbit floats a variety of injured and disaffected characters whose days appear to be dedicated to the pursuit of young women, often by distasteful and violent means. A terrible cruelty runs through their thoughts and actions, and when Ferg falls in love, his ordered world is sent off kilter; his naivety is like an open wound and is almost his undoing. Life, as Ian Cochrane paints it, in a village in which everyone wants to know everyone else’s business is ugly, dark and uncompromising, full of anger, resentment and ignorance.