No News at Throat Lake

Lawrence Donegan, Author Atria Books $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-671-78540-6
After spending a holiday in the small village of Creeslough, Ireland, Donegan decides to escape the madness of urban life and move there. Leaving behind urban comforts of London and a decade of employment at his dream job reporting for the Guardian, Donegan tries his luck working as a farmhand before quickly moving on to beg for--and land--a job at the Tirconaill Tribune, an opinionated community paper. Donegan clearly appreciates his co-workers, as well as the opportunity to be closely involved again in the grind of newspaper publishing (he does occasionally feel queasy about reporting on beached whale carcasses and geriatric pop singers while watching former Guardian co-workers cover top international stories). Although he joins a local Gaelic soccer team and tries to make new friends, Donegan does not relinquish all his big-city ambitions--he hopes to make a name for himself uncovering a murder mystery involving American heiress Doris Duke (aka ""The Richest Girl in the World"") and her butler, a Creeslough native named Bernard Lafferty. While this lead never does pan out, Donegan's account of his eight-month stint at the Tribune is peppered with intelligent commentary on local history and politics and rural vs. urban living. Happily, Donegan's sharp, self-deprecating sense of humor and keen wit (his public, poetic ""eulogy"" on the anniversary of Princess Diana's death and his account of a visit by Newt Gingrich seeking a nonexistent Irish pedigree are particularly amusing) prevent the narrative from dissolving into a collection of soggy sketches about eccentric locals. (Apr.) FYI: During the 1980s, Donegan played in the pop band Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-7434-2841-5
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-0-671-78544-4
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