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Has a town ever been bashed this much before in a novel?

(15 Posts)
wildkittydeer Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:47

I recently bought a book in Ireland called Killed by a Passing Snowflake, it was being launched in a bar on the Ring of Kerry. I would seriously recommend it because although it deals with a number of very hard issues i.e sexual assault, alcohol abuse etc, it is also laugh out loud funny and raw in a peculiar sort of way. There was though one thing that really struck me and that was the general bollocking the town of Boston Lincs received in the novel. From the moment the main characters take a brief visit to the place, the gloves are off from the foul hotel receptionist who is adversarial from the start to the dopey waiter 'it only took him three times to get the drinks order right, but when it came to the food, he wasn't so sharp'. The locals at the weekly market are viewed as 'just how he (Jack) imagined Lourdes to be, except the people there wanted to be cured'. Observations are made as to why the local men all wear hats (if men war beards to hide a dodgy chin, what the fxxk are these guys hiding under those caps) and as they leave the town, they note a dirty white van with 'I fxxk goats' written on it and when the character questions whether the driver of the van is aware of what is written on it, the reply is 'perhaps one of his kids did it'. The chapter is not integral to the book, it merely provides a scene change, but as far as I know the author is Irish. I just wonder is there anybody out there who comes from Boston UK, or has been there. If there is, could they confirm how truly awful it is and if it is anything like its portrayed to be in this novel? If it is, I suggest they are sitting in a goldmine, people would queue up to witness it at first hand. I have to admit before reading the book I never even knew there was a Boston UK.

IreadthereforeIam Thu 14-Jul-11 11:05:57

My Dad comes from there - and lives there now. I would say that book is probably a fair representation of how life in Boston really is! It used to be a lot nicer, but it has gone down hill A LOT in more recent years. My Dad was saying that only this week, a man was shot, and an illegal distillery had blown up (causing a lot of damage!!). It's known as one of the unhealthiest places in the country. There is a lot of unemployment, and a lot of immigrant workers - whether they are there legally or not (mostly not, by the sounds of it). I have endless stories about life in Boston, courtesy of my Dad. The thing is, it HAD been a reasonably affluent place - the docks there used to be a major employer - a lot of wool used to pass through Boston Dockyard (where my Grandfather worked). There were other factories there too - canning, box-making etc. There are a lot of farms, but apparently the pay is not amazing, and the Bostonians would rather collect the dole than work for a pittance picking cauliflowers and sorting potatoes - immigrants now largely do these jobs.

I used to LOVE my holidays in Boston as a child. I don't go back there anymore - it's too painful for me (and I don't get on particularly well with my father) since my grandparents died. It's hard to see a place that's steeped in such rich history go down the proverbial toilet.

wildkittydeer Thu 14-Jul-11 16:10:23

I put this original post up on the 13th July and I was horrified to hear later that same day about the terrible explosion in Boston in which 5 people were killed. It is being reported at the moment that they were probably distilling alcohol. I felt very guilty for my thread, thinking the town was having a bad enough time, however when I logged on to my email today, Sky news came up as usual and the story about the explosion was featured. I read it and had a quick glance at the comments, they are absolutely unbelievable, people who claim to be from Boston are actually saying these people deserved to die and the amount of foul racism displayed is something else. I think it goes to show that the author of Killed by A Passing Snowflake was spot on in her depiction of that foul little town.

IreadthereforeIam Thu 14-Jul-11 16:22:12

I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a foul little town! I know some very nice people that live there! Bad things happen in lots of places - even the nicest of places. I think you should reread what you've written. Not very nice really.

TheDeathlyMarshmallows Thu 14-Jul-11 16:28:25

The people who choose to vent their spleen on the Sky news website are not a representative sample of people from Boston!! I'm sure if something similar were to happen in your home town, you'd be able to find 20 racist thugs to write bollocks on a website too.

I think branding somewhere you've never even been a "foul little town" based on a fictional novel and some idiotic comments on a news story is really rather harsh and doesn't paint you in a very good light either.

IreadthereforeIam Thu 14-Jul-11 16:57:18

Hear hear, TheDeathlyMarshmallows. Why is it that when a negative story about a person or a place comes out, people feel this need to twist the knife? God forbid that anyone would illegally distill alcohol/ sell drugs etc etc - it most likely happens in a great many towns in this country (unfortunately). It just gets into the news when the perpetrators are caught!!

wildkittydeer Wed 20-Jul-11 21:28:34

Anyone with a name that includes Marshmallow sounds like someone who hails from Boston, big, white and sickly. If a similar incident had happened in most other towns, the majority view put forward would not I think have been as negative as that uttered by Boston people, they tripped over themselves to say how nasty and crime ridden 'foreigners' in the town are.

AmazingBouncingFerret Wed 20-Jul-11 21:33:23

Ha! Yes because the Sky News website comments are a fair representation of how people from Boston think and act...

<awaits for OP to tell her that with a name that includes ferret means she hails from Boston>

TheDeathlyMarshmallows Wed 20-Jul-11 22:14:41

Where does it say I come from Boston? confused

wildkittydeer Wed 20-Jul-11 22:18:15

Actually I think Sky News is very representative of people in Britain, they feature what people what to watch and read and they play to it very successfully. The fact is if you look online at the local Lincolnshire media and the wider coverage there was very little sympathy for the victims of that explosion but much talk concerning their nationality with a good dose of 'getting what they deserved'. If getting blown sky high for illegal distilling is the going punishment in Boston, I would hate to think what fate awaits murderers etc

AmazingBouncingFerret Wed 20-Jul-11 22:27:26

The marshmallows in your name obviously

wink

Sky News itself may well be a fair representation but the comments are not. comments boards are always going to attract those that are gobby and opinionated.

TheDeathlyMarshmallows Wed 20-Jul-11 22:29:43

True ABF - which will be why the Op was so drawn to them wink

IreadthereforeIam Thu 21-Jul-11 08:17:06

What is it with the Boston-bashing? How can someone be so vitriolic about a place they've never even been to? Ok, the place has problems, but there are a whole load of other places that have similar problems. OK, I have family that lives in Boston, and they aren't so happy with the things that are happening there, but my Dad is an ex-Met Police officer, and he is the first to acknowledge that Boston seems to have 'caught-up' with other towns (not that he likes it!). You've just read a book about the place, wildkittydeer, it doesn't make you an expert. Please step away from the soap box.

My dad is an optician and used to locum there every year and he and mum would stay in a caravan for the duration. Mum called it cabbageland and said it smelled of cabbages (and in the end stopped going) ...........no idea if it does or not though!

IreadthereforeIam Thu 21-Jul-11 14:54:54

Yes, it does smell a bit cabbagey - they grow an awful lot of it - and cauli's, and sprouts too. They are the main supplier of a lot of veggies in this country!

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