Past Pupil Takes The Biscuit!

Jammy Dodger, a debut novel by Sullivan old boy Kevin Smith (class of 1981), has attracted glowing advance reviews from -- among others -- the Sunday Times and the Guardian ahead of its 16 August 2012 publication date.

The book, a comedy set in late 1980s Belfast, has been described by the Belfast Newsletter as “hilarious -- by turns darkly ironic and laugh-out-loud funny” and by Guardian columnist Simon Hoggart as “very funny -- acutely sharp”.

Kevin, who worked in Belfast newspapers after studying English & Philosophy at Queen’s University, and later spent ten years as a Reuters correspondent in eastern Europe and Dublin, said he wanted to show another side to Northern Irish life.

“Humour seemed the best way to do it but obviously being set where it is and when, there are some dark undercurrents and a few bitter-sweet moments between the gags,” he says.

Bursting with mischievous jokes, the book also boasts a lively cast of characters, including a gun-toting playwright, a jealous policeman, and a giant white rabbit.

“It’s essentially a coming-of-age tale, with some sharp knocks and plenty of laughs along the way,” he says.

Kevin now lives in Dublin with his wife and two children but still holds great affection for his home town, a “heavily impressionistic” version of which appears in the book.

“It was a magical place to grow up,” he says. “It’s no accident that the Holywood hills I gazed out at from various classrooms on long afternoons were the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’ Narnia.”

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