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That's That - Colin Broderick

That's That

By Colin Broderick

  • Release Date: 2013-05-07
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 6 Ratings

Description

A brutally honest and deeply affecting memoir about growing up in the countryside in rebel country in Northern Ireland.

Colin Broderick was born in 1968 and spent his childhood in Tyrone county, in Northern Ireland. It was the beginning of the period of heightened tension and violence known as the Troubles, and Colin's Catholic family lived in the heart of rebel country. The community was filled with Provisional IRA members whose lives depended on the silence and complicity of their neighbors. At times, that made for a confusing childhood. We watch as he and his brothers play ball with the neighbor children over a fence for years, but are never allowed to play together because it is forbidden. We see him struggle to understand why young men from his community often just disappear. And we feel his confusion when he is held at gunpoint at various military checkpoints in the North. But even when Colin does ask his parents about these events, he never receives a clear explanation. Desperate to protect her children, Colin's mother tries to prevent exposure to or knowledge of the harm that surrounds them. Spoken with stern finality, "That's that" became the refrain of Colin's childhood.

The first book to paint a detailed depiction of Northern Ireland's Troubles is presented against a personal backdrop and is told in the wry, memorable voice of a man who's finally come to terms with his past.

Reviews

  • Spell binding

    5
    By Captain America77
    "That's that" is pure excellence in story telling. I am dumbfounded at how fast I became sucked into this book. It is a history lesson, a good old fashioned story telling, and memoir all wrapped into one spell binding book. I could not put this book down. Very well done. For those that want the real story of the Irish struggle for freedom- its a must read.
  • Brilliant, unflinching, brutal, and (dare I say) sweet

    5
    By irishwriter
    Not much is known about what Northern Ireland in the 70's and 80's, during the height of "The Troubles." As Broderick himself points out, that narrative of what life was really like for Catholics was tightly woven into the tight nest of British rule. The experience of being under the iron fist of the Iron Lady (Thatcher) and the seething rage over injustices real or imagined makes for a riveting story. Broderick's book is, in a word, a masterpiece because it is a vital cultural artifact of Northern Irish life for anyone with Irish blood coursing through their veins. That goes double for those in the "southern counties!" The book doesn't read like a stuffy history lesson; it is a classic coming-of-age autobiography packed with humor and insight into life inside a large Irish brood. It's like "Angela's Ashes" for the rest of us. He is brutally frank about his flirtations with alcoholism, drug use, and the bitter resentments of family and country that bring him within reach of the IRA. He is a flawed hero but a hero nonetheless, bravely sharing his soul with the reader. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

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