TPQ: What are you currently reading?
DO'D: Unfinished Business by Marisa McGlinchey. I have had it a while, but I prefer to devour books when I have lots of free time, so its taking a while.
TPQ: Best book you have ever read?
DO'D: Quantitative Trading: How To Build Your Own Algorithmic Trading Business by Dr Ernerst Chan. A lot of the trading books up to the year 2015 (when I lost interest), I had read and coded their strategies for testing, and had done the research specifically for an another author's own trading book. So I'm well placed to say 99% of them upto that year are utter trash, and expensive trash (some books cost hundreds of pounds). I attended a conference the author was at, and got his book. It has workable examples, with data sets most people have access too, and it teaches you how to critically examine systems (rather than promising to contain the secrets of alpha!).
TPQ: A must-read before you die?
DO'D: Probably the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers. I loved the films and so bought the books some time ago. I have started off numerous summer or winter holidays with the intention of reading them, but never actually do because I feel I need to give my eyes a break from all the reading I do at work.
TPQ: A preference for fact or fiction?
DO'D: Fact, if you would call most books on the Provisional Campaign factual.
TPQ: Favourite female author?
DO'D: She doesn’t have extensive work, but Sylvia Plath. It's a very “studenty” answer, but she articulates despair in heart rending ways.
TPQ: Favourite male author?
DO'D: Yourself (Anthony McIntyre). I know you have one book and my copy is proudly signed by you with some additional written message I can’t decipher, but I like that because its enigmatic ... maybe it says ‘leave me the fuck alone’ though? Still, your body of work extends beyond that format, and I must have read everything you have written on the Blanket and Quill. I cry at your obituaries for people I’ve never met. Another dimension to a question such as this is the relationship the artist has with his work. Thus adjacent to content such as your critique of Provisional republicanism that still holds correct since, is the understanding that articulating it rendered you out of phase with, and at risk from, a movement you maintained fidelity to in spite of nearly two decades of grinding horror inflicted on you in Long Kesh.
TPQ: First book you ever read?
DO'D: Outside of the Bible which was a school mandated thing, the first one I purchased of my volition was Silence of the Lambs by Robert Harris. I couldn’t watch the film when it came out, but wanted to access the story that was being raved about on TV somehow, so managed to get a copy from a car boot sale.
TPQ: Favourite childhood author?
DO'D: Not a kids author per se, but the one I read most was Stephen King. Stuff like IT ➖ Carrie ➖ Tommyknockers etc. Again, anything that was on a video store case that I couldn’t watch due to age restrictions.
TPQ: Any book you point blank refuse to read?
DO'D: Animal Farm by George Orwell. I saw the 1981 film adaptation starring Bodil Joensen and it was unfathomable to me how revered the narrative was. It was simply sickening!
TPQ: Any author you point blank refuse to read?
DO'D: Probably Gerry Adams. I have Before the Dawn but read it half distracted. He clearly has a very interesting story to tell (perhaps the most interesting story to tell), but he can never admit his truths at this stage. It makes me suspicious of the rest of his works. He is lost unto naked trampolining, I'm afraid.
TPQ: Pick a book to give to somebody so that they would more fully understand you.
DO'D: I, Partridge by Alan Partridge. Its a fictional account of a fictitious person. What I mean by that is: Partridge is a character played by Steve Coogan, and in character he has written a biography of events that we have seen play out on screen. But he has altered the facts in recalling them to make himself seem like he is having the last laugh in some cringe situations (needless to say!). On one level, to grasp the cringe aspect is important to me. That's what I experience on a daily basis around others: bowls full of cringe. It's also quite a meta way of saying in truth, I don’t want people to understand me better. For example, I will just lie if I am questioned about personal stuff by those not in my family because its safer that way. But I’m telling the truth now.
TPQ: Last book you gave as a present?
DO'D: Provos by Peter Taylor. I gave it to my sister on holiday, I just had it with me, no particular story or thought behind it.
TPQ: Book you would most like to see turned into a movie?
DO'D: Its not the whole book, but The Dirty War by Martin Dillon had a chapter “Robert Nairac : Hero or Villain?” and I think the story of his adventures needs little editorialising for film. Bits of his story are dotted around various books like Bandit Country too, his role in the whole John Francis Green killing/Miami Showband Massacre stuff along with his final moments of trying to steal the gun trained on him. All form the main beats of something made for cinema. We could even use some artistic licence to have an a capella version of him singing ‘Danny Boy’ (Not’ Broad Black Brimmer’) interspersed with scenes as he meets his final demise. I've seen these scenes in my head so clearly for years.
Daithi O’Donnabhain describes himself as "a regular shit poster on TPQ when I can log on!”