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BRITHYLL by Dewi Prysor
by Chris Collins
First of all I must put my cards on the table and admit that I am a prolific reader, but the advancement of age, and lack of time (both of which make me a boring bastard) has meant that I’ve become much more conservative in my reading these days. Whilst a good football book will still attract my attention, and I’m talking John Foot’s Calcio or Jonathon Wilson’s ‘Behind the Curtain’ here, as opposed to the drivel that masquerades itself as literature from our fleet footed footballers, I’m now just as likely to be spotted with Ian Rankin or Henning Mankell in my grubby paws. You know the type – the disposable detectives. I suppose what I really need is a good old belly laugh.
So, what a delight it was to pick up this book on a recent visit back to Wales. The author is admittedly known to me, and while I knew he had certain talents, I wasn’t aware that writing was one of them. Maybe he was tipped over the edge by the severe battering he took off some Bratislavan bouncers a few years back on a Wales away trip. He more or less required a complete new head to replace the one that was left behind attached to a bar stool!
Anyway, it seems to have done the trick. This is the funniest book I’ve read in years. It’s literally bought tears to my eyes on several occasions, and more than the odd quizzical look off the Mrs and work colleagues. Think ‘Trainspotting’ mixed in with Tom Sharpe’s daftest moments (well it was funny back then) and you’re halfway there. The story basically revolves around three Welsh ‘boyos’, Cledwyn, Bic and Sbanish who get up to all sorts of mischief whilst fuelled by ridiculous amounts of drink and drugs. To say they have the constitution of a ‘Welsh Black’ would be no exaggeration. The book is set in North West Wales, the area around Ffestiniog and Porthmadog, and local places and characters are bought to life in a psychedelic haze of mushrooms, pills, barrels of Stella, blow-jobs in the beer garden and some Trout with electronic implants. You get the drift…..
The only downside for most people will be that the book is written mainly in Welsh, and also the hybrid ‘Welshlish’ peculiar to this region of Wales. But don’t let that put you off. Get the mushies in, but when you’re out of it don’t piss on the kids trifle in the fridge!!
Brithyll is the Welsh word meaning Trout, as in the fish…..I hope
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