A question of culture
Ross Breslin, Director of The Scum Gentry Arts & Media Group
It by Stephen King. King was the writer who made me want to write, and I read this one at age 11, shortly after graduating from children's and young adult fiction. In comparison to Goosebumps and similar fare, it blew my mind and made me realise just how limitless art and fantasy could be. Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man had a similar effect at a different age, for similar reasons. Few others have.
Last book you read and loved?
The last two were Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and Mario Puzo's The Godfather, read in quick succession and I loved both. McCarthy's writing is beyond words (mine at least) and The Don's attitude to life, while undeniably idealistic and hypocritical, I found nonetheless deliciously appealing. For most of us, nobody's waiting with open arms to welcome us into the Establishment with big bags of cash. If you want security and fortune for you and yours, then you have to make it yourself. Don Corleone understands.
Best concert/gig you've ever seen?
Leonard Cohen at Lissadell House in Sligo 2010. Drinking Buckfast from a plastic bottle at the top of the seat-stands with a slow mist descending and the Dartry Mountains all around us; Len reciting Yeats and himself in between masterful performances of all his greats. It was one of those rare moments in life that, even as it's happening, you know you'll never forget.
Goodfellas: bad young men beating the odds to make their own way in the world? That's what the Scum Gentry's all about.
Last film you saw and loved?
The Counsellor. It had its problems and it's taken a bit of a bashing with the critics but I really enjoyed it. I think it'll get a fairer appraisal as time goes by.
Last film you saw and hated?
The Adjustment Bureau. I thought I was sitting down to watch a paranoid thriller in the vein of Dark City. Instead, I got a romcom about angels.
Favourite TV show?
The Sopranos because it didn't just raise the bar, it cast it in gold and flung it to the heavens; and The Wire because it was waiting up there to catch the bar in its teeth.
Galway is the nicest city in Ireland in terms of people, culture and scenery. If I didn't live here, I'd move here.
- DECLAN CASHIN
- ROSS IS A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE NEW COLLECTION, THE SCUM GENTRY GUIDE TO LIVING FOOLISHLY, OUT NOW FOR €11.99. SEE HTTP://THESCUMGENTRY.COM/