by Mike McCormack
Rescued from the squalor of a Romanian orphanage, and adopted by the rural community of west Mayo, the child that is named J.J. O’Malley should have grown up happy. The boy has no gift for it, though, and his new life has a brutal way of giving him plenty to be unhappy about.” Eventually JJ suffers a mental breakdown and volunteers for an improbable government project which has been set up to explore the possibility of using deep coma as a future option within the EU penal system. When his coma goes online the nation turns to watch and JJ is suddenly elevated to the status of cultural icon. Sex symbol, existential hero, T-shirt philosopher – his public now threatens to obscure the man himself. The ultimate reality show! Edited from a great review by Pat Mullan of Co. Galway.
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