Cal, Bernard Mac Laverty
Bernard Mac Laverty was born in Belfast, where he worked for ten years as a medical laboratory technician before studying English at Queen’s University. He has written two novels, Lamb and Cal, and three collections of short stories, secrets, A Time to Dance and the Great profundo. Both Lamb and Cal have been made into successful films. A lot of the themes in this book have had a big influence in Mac Laverty’s own life Cal is the main person in this book, his mother has died when he was eight years old, so he lives with his dad in a village in Ireland, most of the people in the village are protestant and Cal and his dad are Catholic. Because the great hate in Ireland between the two leading churches, Cal and his dead are often threatened by villagers that they will burn down their house ore worse, if they don’t leave the house. Cal’s dad is very stubborn and doesn’t want to leave because of the memory to his wife with whom he had lived in the house. Cal is very in love with a woman who works at the library, but because of an incident, happened in the past, he knows that a relation ship between the two is impossible, but he is so in love with her that he gets a little bit obsessed by her and try’s everything to be in her surrounding: ”He stared at her, moving his eyes over what he could see of her above the counter. He had come to a library to borrow time, just to see her.” Cal got some friends from his last school, they are in some organization against the British government in Ireland. They do everything what is forbidden just to provoce the police and the government. They demand that Cal must do the same or else he is a deserter to the organization. So Cal does some driving for the men who rob a store just because he doesn’t want any more trouble with them.”Look. I have been extremely lenient with you until now. This is not a game we are playing. What you have done is dessertation. You know the penalties for that in any other army in wartime!” Cal’s his house gets burned down by the people who has treathend them for many years just because the different religion they have and Cal has no place to live, so he sleeps at some kind of stable at the place where he is working. In between Cal gets more intimate with the woman who work at the library, because Cal works at her home. Cal gets more frustrated because he knows he can never be honest with her because what has happened in the past. At last he makes love to her and is very happy but at the same time very sad and mad at himself because the things he did in the past. The men of the robbery will find Cal at last and try to persuade him again to join the organization, but Cal refuses this time and when the two boys gets arrested Cal knows he is in big trouble.
The book is written beautifully and gives a good description of the feelings of Cal and a good view at the problematic situation in Ireland at that time. At the same time, it is a very thrilling book to read because you really want to know how the story of Cal ends.
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