Blackrock, portrait of a Cork suburb 1916, reviewed

By @SimonCocking available for purchase via Diarmuid O’Drisceoil via

Written partly to commemorate a century since the Easter Uprising, in many ways this book is also an enjoyable bout of time travelling back to Blackrock Cork one hundred years ago. Events of the 1916 rebellion are touched upon, but at the same time it is very much an insight into how we lived ‘way back then’. In reading the book it becomes clear that it many ways some things are not that different, and a visitor from our time would be able to find their way around and not feel completely alien.

The style of the entries in the book is collage like, gradually building up a wider feel for the time, based on a series of diverse and disparate snippets, which nevertheless gradually help to build up a sense of what it was like back in Blackrock 1916. Without wanting to make the author blush the mosaic approach to building up the narrative successfully taps into a style reminiscent of the more readable parts of Joyce’s Ulysses, and does ensure that the whole is great than the sum of the parts.

As a self published book, with over two thirds of the print run already sold this is something that could make for a great stocking filler, and apparently when they’re gone, they’re gone! Get one while you can!


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