Two Souls: Paramilitary and punk the divergent paths of Troubles youth

Book review: Henry McDonald’s novel taps into adolescent energy of 1970s Belfast

Henry McDonald’s language succeeds in capturing the aggressive angularity of punk, its blunt refusal. File photograph: Virginia Turbett/Redferns

Henry McDonald’s language succeeds in capturing the aggressive angularity of punk, its blunt refusal. File photograph: Virginia Turbett/Redferns

So are youse game? Are youse game for a novel that channels the kind of Young Adult sex & violence of Richard Allen’s punks and skins books, with a plot that unfolds via serial prison communications, the build-up to the Cliftonville/Portadown Irish Cup Final in 1979, a forlorn love affair between a punk and a goth and the framing device of David Bowie’s Low?

Being game is what it’s all about for the young men caught up in the cultural and political spiralling of Two Souls, set during the Troubles in the 1970s and 1980s.

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