Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine


The House of the Mosque – Kader Abdolah

Friday, February 19th, 2010

I finished Kader Abdolah’s The House of the Mosque on the same day that organised celebrations (and crackdowns on civil unrest) took place in Tehran to mark the anniversary of the 1979 revolution which swept Mohammad-Rez? Sh?h Pahlavi from power and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Looking at the pictures […]

Cal – Bernard McLaverty

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

‘Tragic’ was always one of those easy-to-reach for words used to describe Northern Ireland’s ‘troubles’. It managed to avoid picking sides, and recognised that things were more complicated on the ground than the simple catholic vs protestant / irish vs british equations.  Not such a bad thing, but more often than not it was also […]

The Last Train from Liguria – Christine Dwyer Hickey

Friday, July 17th, 2009

It’s refreshing to hear an author declare in no uncertain terms that they don’t like the cover of their novel. M.J. Hyland did exactly that on a recent radio interview when asked about her latest novel This is How. Not, presumably because there’s anything wrong with the cover per se – it’s an elegant and […]

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

This blog has often focussed on great openings to novels, interested particularly in that magical moment where you, the reader, accept an opening contract from the author. What makes us choose one book over another is an area where the ending doesn’t come into play.  A handy  approach that also spares us the risk of […]

Writing Against Terror – Nadeem Aslam

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

The easy choice would be to jump right in and ask novelist Nadeem Aslam what his thoughts are on the recent bombings in London. After all, his critically acclaimed novel Maps for Lost Lovers was a lyrical examination of the very immigrant communities in the North of England from which the alleged bombers came. British […]

A Perfect Red – the history of cochineal

Friday, July 1st, 2005

“Two centuries ago no one could have imagined that something as valuable as cochineal, ranked alongside gold and silver as one of the great treasures of the Spanish empire, would eventually be forgotten,” explains historian Amy Butler Greenfield, author of A Perfect Red. Cochineal, for the uninitiated is a small insect that when dried and […]

A history of Fear. Professor Joanna Bourke in interview

Sunday, May 1st, 2005

“In the words of Archdeacon R.H.Charles in 1931, science may have ‘exposed many superstitions of the dark ages and laid bare the falsity of the religious and secular magic of the past and present, yet in their stead it has introduced legions of new alarms that beset our lives from the cradle to the grave’” […]

Under the Skin – Exploring the identity of the far-right. Nick Ryan in interview.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

Arguably, for decades after the end of World War II, the spectre of a revived far-right political/military movement has haunted Western Europe. This fear, though, has often been focused on the fantastic, rather than concrete. In his study on the presentation of neo-Nazis in major Hollywood films between 1945 and 1979, for example, Professor Lawrence […]

The ongoing environmental disaster of 9/11.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

The attacks of September the 11th, 2001, on the World Trade Centre in New York have had global implications. The impact of the attacks has manifested itself as the ongoing ‘war against terrorism’. The Global impact of 9/11 though, has, to some extent, hidden the very real local impact of the attacks. Try for a […]

The Human Side of Occupation. Suad Amiry, author of Sharon and my Mother-in-Law in interview

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

“Thank God she hasn't (her son did!)” says Suad Amiry, with characteristic humour when asked if her mother-in-law has read her critically acclaimed Ramallah diaries, entitled Sharon and my Mother-in-Law. The book arose out of a form of email therapy, as Amir tried to stay sane cooped up with her Mother-in-Law, with Sharon's army on […]