Roddy Doyle is not my favorite Irish writer: The Commitments (1987) is entertaining rubbish and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993) is the first two pages of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man extended to almost 300, but bearable because it’s well-done. “Box Sets” nevertheless stopped me dead. It’s the best thing he’s ever done. Just a couple of pages long because it’s a excruciatingly vivid howl of pain, and it couldn’t possibly go on any longer. Not only The State of Ireland but The Way We All Live Now.
[The Suicide of Ajax, Exekias, circa 540 BCE]