For the Good Times: an evening with David Keenan

Edinburgh Book Launch

For the Good Times by David Keenan

the new novel from the author of This is Memorial Device set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland

We’re delighted to welcome back author, journalist and critic David Keenan to the bookshop to launch his latest novel, a modernist, irreverent rollercoaster about three friends who end up running a comic shop controlled by the IRA. 

David Keenan is back and we can’t wait! This event is your chance to see a charismatic, exciting new voice in Scottish fiction talk about his work and inspiration – this time his subject is the sectarian troubles of Belfast (with a couple of gritty outings to Glasgow and London). On the evening you’ll be welcomed with a glass of wine, enjoy listening to some conversation and readings, with a chance for Q&A and signing afterwards. It’ll be great – book your tickets!

Tickets for this event are available on our website or in-store, by email or phone. If you reserve a ticket with book, you can pick this up when you arrive at the event. The standard ticket price can be redeemed against the book on the evening.

About the novel

Sammy and his three friends live in the Ardoyne, an impoverished, predominantly Catholic area of North Belfast that has become the epicentre of a country intent on cannibalising itself. They love sharp clothes, a good drink, and the songs of Perry Como – whose commitment to clean living holds up a dissonant mirror to their own attempts to rise above their circumstances. They dream of a Free State, and their methods for achieving this are uncompromising, even as they fully indulge in the spoils of war.

It is not just a book about the IRA, but an exploration of what it means to ‘go rogue’, of the heartbreak and devastation that commitment to ‘the cause’ can engender, of ideas of martyrdom, fatherhood, and self-sacrifice. It unpacks any dewy-eyed romance associated with the Troubles while re-visioning it as a time of psychological and spiritual intensity where the nature of day-to-day reality itself was up for grabs. And through a dizzying amalgam of modernist prose, roughhouse vernacular and hallucinatory Irish humour, it establishes David Keenan as one of our most fearless literary stylists.

About David Keenan

David Keenan grew up in Airdrie in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is the author of This Is Memorial Device (Faber), To Run Wild In It: A Handbook of Autonomic Tarot (Rough Trade Books) and England Hidden Reverse: A Secret History of the Esoteric Underworld (Strange Attractor). He lives in Glasgow.

Short Story Club: “The Inner Room” by Robert Aickman

Short Story Club is our low-commitment, high-reward reading group for those who love short stories and want to hear more of them, and for those who are curious about the shorter form of fiction. We gather around with a glass of wine, one of our booksellers introduces then reads the story in its entirety and then we open up to a group discussion. It’s a brilliant way to meet new people and hear new stories, and we like to think you’ll leave with a brighter view of the world around you. There is something magical about short stories. Come see for yourself!

“The Inner Room” by Robert Aickman

In February, bookseller Katalina will introduce then read aloud “The Inner Room” by Robert Aickman, who was a prolific short fiction writer during the middle of the twentieth century and famed for his “Strange Stories”.

This creepy tale blurs the gaps between memory, hallucination and premonition as Lene attempts to move on from her losses of the Second World War. It’s got a creepy doll’s house – what more could you need of a February evening?

We are delighted to be spending 2019 reading the new series from legendary publisher Faber & Faber of the finest short stories ever: Faber Stories. We’ll be reading a selection of this beautiful new series of short stories new and old, discovering a range of writers you already love and new ones to discover.

“When you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world…”

— George Saunders

Short Story Club is completely FREE and no tickets are issued. However, you can RSVP here to let us know you’re coming and help us gauge numbers. Please arrive promptly to begin at 6.30pm so there are no interruptions to the reading!