mandag den 5. oktober 2009

Martin McDonagh, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996)


[Denne bog er ikke oversat til dansk]

This Irish work is not traditional crime, but drama. The reason why I have decided to write a short review is that this story about an old, ailing mother and her fortyish daughter is an excellent psychological thriller.

The whole drama takes place in a rural cottage in County Galway, and the best way to give you an impression of the main characters is probably through a somewhat long quotation:

Mag: I do be scared, Maureen. I be scared what if me hand shook and I was to pour it over me hand. And with you at Mary Pender´s, then where would I be?

Maureen: You´re just a hypochondriac is what you are.

Mag: I´d be lying on the floor and I´m not a hypochondriac.


Maureen: You are too and everybody knows that you are. Full well.


Mag: Don´t I have a urine infection if I´m such a hypochondriac?


Maureen: I can´t see how a urine infection prevents you pouring a mug of Complan or tidying up the house a bit when I´m away. It wouldn´t kill you.


Mag: (
pause) Me bad back.

Maureen: Your bad back.


Mag: And me bad hand. (
Mag holds up her shriveled hand for a second.)

Maureen: (
quietly) Feck … (Irritated.) I´ll get your Complan so if it´s such a big job! From now and ´till doomsday! The one thing I ask you to do. Do you see Annette or Margo coming pouring your Complan or buying your oul cod in butter sauce for the week?

Mag: No.


Maureen: No is right, you don´t. And carrying it up that hill. And still I´m not appreciated.


Mag: You
are appreciated, Maureen.

Maureen: I´m not appreciated.


Mag: I´ll give me Complan another go so, and give it a good stir for meself.


Maureen: Ah, forget your Complan. I´m expected to do everything else, I suppose that one on top of it won´t hurt. Just a … just a blessed fecking skivvy is all I´m thought of!


Mag: You´re not, Maureen.


Maureen slams a couple of cupboard doors after finishing with the shopping and sits at the table, after dragging its chair back loudly. Pause.


Mag: Me porridge, Maureen, I haven´t had, will you be getting? No, in a minute, Maureen, have a rest for yourself …


Even my 18-19-year-old students loved this, and several of them admitted that they had been reading ahead! A horrible story about the relationship between mother and daughter, with a strong element of pitch-dark, Irish humour.

7 kommentarer:

lilly sagde ...

I have never heard of it but it certainly seems interesting. I'll be looking for it.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Oh, this *does* sound like a really compelling read! The psychology of family relationships is really, really fascinating, especially when they are dysfunctional....

Dorte H sagde ...

Lilly, this is one of the finds I have made because of my job, and I thought some of you would enjoy it :D

Margot, any writer of mystery or psychological thriller could learn a lot from this. Great dialogue, and he is also excellent at building up tension.
But for lovers of cozy crime: give it a wide berth!

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

Sounds like it might take me on a trip to the dark side! The relationship between moms and daughters is always interesting...I can only imagine how it might lead to violence sometimes!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Ms. Bookish sagde ...

Looks very interesting! I love reading plays. I could hear the dialogue in my head - very nice.

Petty Witter sagde ...

Sounds promising - the relationships between mothers and daughters usually make interesting reading as so often the relationship is complicated.

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: you have certainly understood what this drama is about! And as we can all imagine, mother and daughter ´shut up´ in a small cottage for several years may have dramatic consequences.

Belle: I think one thing you can learn from reading drama is how to handle dialogue so perhaps I should read more.

Petty: I rarely read modern drama for my own pleasure (one should watch it, really), but this one IS captivating - also because the reader´s sympathy switches from one character to the other all the time.