Thunder and Lightning: A Memoir of Life on the Tough Cul-de-Sacs of Bangor
So close to the Troubles, yet so far away – Thunder and Lightning is the story of one boy’s journey through the rather soft side of life in a town which lacked tough streets but boasted many cul-de-sacs.
Colin Bateman grew up in the pleasant seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. Ten miles away, the IRA, the UDA and the UVF were blowing Belfast apart, but he was more concerned with making his first million through the GBA – the Gerbil Breeding Association (sadly short-lived when his gerbils turned out to be cannibals).
Inspired by All the President’s Men and The Odessa File to become a crusading journalist, Bateman joined the local paper when he was a seventeen-year-old punk, where instead of bringing down Presidents and finding Nazis, he found himself being hunted down by the notorious Kilcooley Strollers, a dance troupe with an axe to grind.
So close to the Troubles, yet so far away – Thunder and Lightning is the story of one boy’s journey through the rather soft side of life in a town which lacked tough streets but boasted many cul-de-sacs. A town where an occasional terrorist bomb was seen as an opportunity to profiteer and where his father became a paramilitary by accident.
About the Author
Colin Bateman is the author of more than thirty novels, including Divorcing Jack, Mystery Man and I Predict a Riot. He wrote the screenplays for the film version of Divorcing Jack, and also for the movies Crossmaheart, Wild About Harry, The Journey and Driven. He wrote the plays National Anthem, Bag for Life and Nutcase. In 2010 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Ulster, for his Services to Literature. He lives in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
Praise for Thunder and Lightning
‘I couldn’t put it down … Mr Bateman writes with such truth and deceptive simplicity, and always with a smattering of good oul’ Ulster humour!’ – Liam Neeson
‘I’m a long-time fan of Colin Bateman and his novels. This looks another winner’ – Ian Rankin
‘I loved it … a brilliant account of growing up in Northern Ireland, full of his trademark wit and willingness to make us laugh at things we shouldn’t be laughing at.’ – John Self, The Irish Times
‘This is memoir as self-deprecating confession, with rich, meaningful, universal emotions.’ – Mike Milotte, The Irish Times