The Bastard Pleasure is a dark novel. It concerns itself with the mystery of identity, its destruction and the brutal way in which it is reclaimed in an emerging act of intuitive will and self-affirmation that is both obligated and free in the circumstances to be either good or evil—more plainly it is about terrorism, in its concrete and seemingly incomprehensible forms, that eminently reveals existential ambiguity and contradiction.
“The universe of Sean McGrady’s fiction may be bleak, but its language is magical: ‘I saw it was another dirty Belfast dusk with nothing by way of a pleasant sensation to entice the soul outside.’ ‘The time of tension, a brute f a time, a reminder of a particular extension, urging intuitions and direction, the time I loathed was always the time that came to quickly.’ One can hear in his prose the music of his homeland’s literary ancestors, but no one I know writing today can bend a concept to the point of palpability like he does. The Bastard Pleasure is Belfast noir at its mad, lyrical, metaphysical best.” —Tom Whalen
ABOUT Seán McGrady
Seán McGrady was raised in Belfast, immersed in the religious and political ideas that defined the Irish Troubles. A former university lecturer in philosophy, he lives in York, England.