BOOK: Sunrise with Sea Monster by Neil Jordan,
Sunday 22 January 1995
It is the tale of a taut father-son relationship with a timeless feel, though set purposefully in the Second World War in neutral Ireland. The narrator-son Donal returns to Bray from the Spanish Civil War, where he had supported the Republican cause, re leased from jail by a German officer who expects intelligence in return, camply insisting on the code names Rhett and Scarlett and a cipher based on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Donal is caught up not only in a fiasco of wartime betrayals, handle d with considerable larkiness, but in a love triangle with his lovely ex-piano teacher turned stepmother, Rose, and his once politically powerful father, now a stroke victim. The cinematically vivid images of rain-drenched promenades and father and son se tting nightlines for fish in the Irish sea linger saltily. The fable-like ending, with ghost and sea monster, is startlingly effective. Maggie Traugott
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant