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The Fire Starters Spectacular At once grittily real, wildly magical and insanely alluring a siren song of a novel DONAL RYAN A brilliant, wry novel, fizzing with energy BARNEY NORRISDr Jonathan Murray fears his new born daughter is not as harmless as she seemsSammy Agnew is wrestling with his dark past, and fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, tooThe city is in flames and the authorities are losing control As matters fall into frenzy, and as the lines between fantasy and truth, right and wrong, begin to blur, who will these two fathers choose to protect Dark, propulsive and thrillingly original, this tale of fierce familial love and sacrifice fizzes with magic and wonder


About the Author: Jan Carson

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts development officer currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland She has a BA in English Literature from Queen s University Belfast and an MLitt In Theology and Contemporary Culture from St Andrew s University, Scotland Jan has had short stories published in literary journals on both sides of the Atlantic, has had two of her plays produced for the Belfast stage and is a current recipient of the Arts Council NI s Artist s Career Enhancement Bursary Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears will be published by Liberties Press, Dublin on June 2nd 2014.



10 thoughts on “The Fire Starters

  1. says:

    Northern Irish writer Jan Carson spins a offbeat and beguiling tale set in a East Belfast with its history of sectarianism, where the ghosts and DNA of its past conflicts infiltrates the present Social realism is blended with the colour and magic of the fantastical in the summer of the tall fires, incendiary sparks that grow, threatening to consume a Belfast with its growing tribe of the rebellious young They are followin


  2. says:

    For whatever reason I never tire of reading about the Troubles, but The Fire Starters is not your average Troubles book Set in modern day East Belfast, Jan Carson imagines a series of fires that break out throughout the city, initiated by an enigmatic figure referred to as the Fire Starter, who revels in the blood lust that his havoc causes Amidst this violence we have two fathers, Sammy Agnew, an old man and former paramil


  3. says:

    Jan Carson sThe Fire Startersexamines fatherhood in a really interesting way The novel follows two separate narrative strands both set in East Belfast but one is a realistic look at criminal elements and the other is a fantastical tale involving children with supernatural abilities These two stories occasionally connect, only to glance off each other like billiard balls, remaining mostly self contained It s a very odd juxtapo


  4. says:

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review This book, given the very recent events in Derry, feels very of its time It highlights a Northern Ireland plagued by sectarian divisions, mixing cultural, parental issues with amagical, and odd perspective to create a story that feels very unique yet strangely familiar At the heart, this is story of fathers and children How we raise them, how we teach them about th


  5. says:

    Every year Belfast gets set alight.Seriously, just google Belfast and Bonfires and you will see unbelievably high pyres just ready to be lit every year on 12 July.It s within this premeditated destructiveness that the story starts And the writing was utterly fantastic in places.I loved that the book focused on the struggles of fatherhood, the burdens and doubts fathers face silently with no outlet other than their own racing thou


  6. says:

    3.5 starsJen Carson is an exceptional writer The Fire Starters has some of the most vivid, immersive descriptions of a city and its ethos that I ve read in a long time In the hands of Jan Carson, East Belfast becomes a city that is at once recognizable and unique, one that somehow feels both familiar in its everyday mundanities and yet utterly distinct in its particular quirks All of this is to say, Carson renders the setting of he


  7. says:

    In brief This is an odd book It s well written but it is somewhat off the wall Aspects I simply loved, aspects were strange, aspects didn t work for me.In fullThis is set in a Belfast that seems quite recognisable with its sectarian divisions as well as cultural ones However the book does stray from anything I would associate with normality fairly quickly The first chapter left me a little puzzled and it was a while before I could ge


  8. says:

    As I stated in my last wrap up I read a lot of solid books By this I mean that the novels were good and I liked them but I wanted a WOW factor The Fire Starters was the exception Trust me, this is a WOW book from start to finish.The setting of the book is Belfast 2014 The Troubles are over but someone is starting a series of fires around the city Sammy Agnew thinks that his son, Mark, is the arsonist After all, when Sammy was young he


  9. says:

    It took me a little while to get on board with the style of The Fire Starters Barney Norris described it as fizzing with energy , which about sums it up The style feels a little stream of consciousness at times too, a little frenetic But as the novel progresses it becomes evident that this fits the narrative fires are raging across Belfast faster than they can be put out.Set in east Belfast the story focuses mostly on two men worried abo


  10. says:

    Absolutely loved The Fire Starters Maybe it was all the references to Connswater Tesco where I used to do my shopping though it was better when it was still Stewarts.This is a comic novel set in the heart of loyalist East Belfast Sammy Agnew is a decommissioned paramilitary trying to cope with civilian life Jonathan Murray is a GP whose heart is not really in his work Both share a feeling of irrelevance both share concerns that their child


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