As the revelations from the Anglo tapes cause public revulsion at the financial culture of greed, megalomania, and callous disregard for the welfare of the State and its citizens, a new novella, which satirises such behaviour, is about to be published.
Galway writer Julian Gough, best known for his Jude series of novels and for his time as lead singer of indie-rock band Toasted Heretic, has written CRASH! How I Lost A Hundred Billion And Found True Love which will be published by Amazon as a Kindle Single on July 11.
The novella again features Julian’s Jude character and is set in Squanderland, where Jude is an unsuccessful chicken farmer from County Fripperary. He lives in a henhouse with no roof that he bought as an investment property at the height of the Celtic Tiger, for €10 million, from a senior Irish banker.
Then the EU declares Jude’s debt is the one most likely to default across the Eurozone. As a result Bertrand Plastique, head of the European Bank of Common Sense and Stability, and the Chancellor of Frugalia, Helen Dunkel, fly to Fripperary, along with the senior Irish banker.
They believe that if they can stabilise Jude’s debt and put a roof on his henhouse, they can reassure the markets and end the Eurozone crisis. However it all starts to go horribly wrong.
“Being an Irishman living in Berlin, I probably have an unusual perspective on the crisis,” says Julian. “It’s the elites in both countries who screwed up, and the ordinary people who were dropped in the slurry pit. And I wanted to play with the national stereotypes, too. The Germans don’t really understand their part in the crisis. They think they are these frugal saints, and we are reckless squanderers.”
The idea for CRASH! came from Julian’s 2012 radio play for the BBC in 2012, The Great Squanderland Roof, and Julian’s father’s suggestion that it would also make a good prose piece.
“I explained to my dad it would be way too long for a short story, and too short for a book. It would be great. It would be original. But who would publish it?” says Julian. “And then this January, Amazon launched their Kindle Singles store in the UK, with Andrew Rosenheim, former MD of Penguin running it. Their brief was to find great, original work between 5,000 and 40,000 words. So anyway, yeah, the future of digital publishing lies in rural Tipperary. Who knew?”
CRASH! is a topical work and comes as the nation listens stunned to the revelations of the Anglo tapes.
“I’ve been laughing and crying listening to the Anglo tapes this week,” says Julian. “Some of the more ridiculous lines sounded like they were taken straight out of CRASH! The novella is topical but it might give a laugh to people who need a laugh, and I think it’s definitely the best thing I’ve written.”