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Toibin s walk along the Ireland N Ireland border was interesting, depressing and frustrating That he made this walk at all was pretty interesting He talks to a lot of people, Protestant and Catholic and, once, B hai Their stories tend toward the depressing Nearly everyone he talks to has had friends and relatives who have been killed in the Troubles Toibin made this walk in 1987, shortly after an agreement was reached to end the hostilities between Catholics and Protestants The treaty, as far as I know, has largely worked for the last 30 years, but when Toibin was walking and talking to people, it was unknown how it would turn out Roads between the North and South were still blocked by concrete and spikes and there was a large military presence Even though this is the 1994 revision of the book and was published no earlier than 2001, there is no update I partly read Toibin s book because, with Brexit coming in 2019, the treaty apparently comes to an end The book was frustrating because there was no map showing the route he took or of the towns and villages he stopped in I was able to look the larger towns up on a map, but think one in the book would have been better Another frustration was his apparent lack of planning for this trip Maybe that was what Toibin wanted when he set off, but he spends a fair number of words on wondering whether he can get to the next town before nightfall, where he will stay and where would he be able to get something to eat This in a region which had been a war zone We now know the treaty worked, but then it was uncertain In any event, he survived, I see, and went on to write a lot of books. Fascinating, earthy account of the everyday tensions on the Northern Ireland border in the late 80s Unfortunately somewhat mystifying and meandering for the less historically knowledgeable reader The most interesting thing was probably just how mundane the walk comes across when he is effectively walking in an ongoing warzone Also made me want to read on the topic of migrant fairs and the exploitation of Catholic workers by Protestant landowners, which had a clear legacy and role in the conflict. FREE DOWNLOAD ⚕ Walking Along the Border ♅ Best Books, Walking Along The Border Author Colm T Ib N This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Walking Along The Border, Essay By Colm T Ib N Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You Very good A bit hard to follow at times as he assumes familiarity with then current 1986 events than is likely at this late date His observational powers are phenomenal, so the travelogue portions are as affecting in their way the reportage from the border in the wake of Anglo Irish Agreement A real writer s piece of journalism in the best sense. Toibin is my favorite writer, and this is not his best in terms of narrative, but it was a really unique reaction to the Anglo Irish agreement And he is such a good writer that I would read his observations about paint drying. In the summer following the Anglo Irish agreement of 1985, Colm Toibin set off to walk the length of the Irish border from Derry Londonderry to Newry More than thirty years after his journey, Bad Blood is a fascinating record of a very different time the Good Friday agreement that finally brought the Troubles to a close was still twelve years in the future, and the Anglo Irish agreement had inflamed existing tensions, especially among Protestant communities Toibin talks to ordinary people on both sides of the border caught up in the terrible cycle of violence, reprisal and sectarianism that played out along the length of his journey Bad Blood is both a record of a time now passed and a warning of the dark forces that could be unleashed by a failure to take the border seriously in a post Brexit world. This is an excellent book, but those readers who may not know the intricacies of Irish political and religious history may be confused and have to do a lot of Googling as Toibin assumes you know already. Ireland has transformed since Colm T ib n walked the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the Anglo Irish Agreement of 1985 In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement marked a watershed moment in the official peace talks and provided the framework for the devolved system of government present in the North Political violence between Protestants and Catholics has decreased dramatically since the bloodshed of the seventies and eighties All told, the border is a safer, secure place than when T ib n made his documentary pilgrimage that informed Bad Blood These developments should be celebrated.Nevertheless, it is impossible to understand Irish identity or twentieth century Irish history without reference to the Troubles, whose wounds have not been forgotten among the Irish The sectarian violence propagated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the British Army, and the Ulster Volunteer Force scarred the country permanently and, in fact, experienced a resurgence of sorts when T ib n wrote Bad Blood T ib n therefore helps the reader whom, it should be noted, he assumes has a foundational familiarity with Irish history and politics wrap her head around how, in an industrialized, developed, and otherwise stable western nation, petrol bombs and senseless murder wreaked havoc upon a mostly innocent population His commentary draws heavily on the testimony of this population Protestant and Catholic alike who share with him their view of the conflict, their hopes, and their despair Protestants are being told that Catholics are the enemy Catholics are being told that Protestants are the enemy, a born again minister from Darkley, whose congregation the Irish National Liberation Army once attacked, tells T ib n The Devil is the enemy, he concludes, evidently hopeful despite the deaths of three of his parishioners in that attack Nearby, the words Fuck the IRA are written across the road This is the kind of world T ib n traverses on his pilgrimage.T ib n is an excellent observer He hails from the South, lives in Dublin, and identifies as Catholic still, he maintains an admirably neutral stance in his conversations with a myriad of disparate interviewees He is friendly with a local Sinn Fein politician as well as the dispossessed descendants of Protestant landowners, now living in the servants quarters of their grandfathers Georgian mansions He speaks with Catholic priests, Protestant presbyters, new money capitalists, poor peasants, and survivors of terrorist attacks The result is a fairly comprehensive view of the sociopolitical state of the border at this tense moment in history To be sure, it is a grim portraiture.Time and again, T ib n reiterates how the Troubles have physically scarred the Irish landscape Cement barriers with rusty metal spikes block once well used roads Bombs have destroyed the vast majority of border bridges, whose mere innards remain In some instances, nature has literally consumed thoroughfares that cross the border At one point the road on the northern side had disappeared completely, T ib n writes The bog had folded over it, and it would never appear again, because it would never be needed again The whole place was desolate now, depopulated, lonely there wasn t much need for these small roads Walls separate Protestant and Catholic communities Watchtowers survey the nationalists in the fortified town of Crossmaglen For T ib n and his Irish compatriots, there is no end in sight The future of their country is bleak at least at that time, in those border communities.While the end of the conflict, in the strict sense of that term, may still be in front of the Irish people, Bad Blood is now of a historical document than a journalistic one I do wonder what T ib n makes of the book today, and I also wonder what the Irish people who live at the border make of their current situation It is quite easy to visit Ireland without a second thought for the thousands of people murdered during the Troubles Should she avoid Belfast, the uninformed tourist may never notice the vestiges of what had at one point seemed like interminable sectarian violence For the American visitor, which is the only perspective from which I am comfortable writing on this issue, Bad Blood serves as a corrective to such ignorance While digging deeply, T ib n treads lightly, and his simple, straightforward prose is well suited to his austere subject. Reading this book now when Northern drivers flock to petrol stations in the Republic for cheap fuel to stations which had little business at the time Toibin writes , while Southerners stream across custom less, and checkpoint less borders for cheap booze, makes it stark how much has changed in the two decades plus that have passed But it also shows how deep the conflict ran It is a book that all people from this island of Ireland should read. I had traveled to Ireland a few years before Toibin went on his trek and was quite familiar with some of the people and events that he described.Colm is a great writer.