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Praise for Tom Molloy's The Green LineMolloy's style is impressive in its tense self control conveying impacted emotion with a bare minimum of words The characters are vividly drawn the whole thing is painfully realistic and Tom Molloy has made an impressive debut— Publishers WeeklySet in Northern Ireland Rebel Streets takes an unblinking look at what happens when ordinary people are thrust into a world of violence extremism and betrayal—where options are few and consequences severe Without resorting to caricature or stereotypes Tom Molloy invites the reader back to a time of religious violence known as the TroublesTom Molloy has driven eighteen wheelers served as a volunteer firefighter de iced commercial jetliners worked as a social worker and accompanied IRA fighters during street battles while covering the Troubles in Northern Ireland as a freelance journalist On several occasions Molloy was detained by British security forces and was once sent on a brief stint to the infamous Castlereagh detention center where his novel Rebel Streets opens Other books by Molloy include The Vandal and The Green Line A native of Boston Massachusetts Tom lives in South Portland Maine


10 thoughts on “Rebel Streets

  1. says:

    Wow This book puts you on the streets of Belfast in the midst of the Troubles The writing is fantastic I often paused to savor it The characters were well drawn and sympathetic on both sides of this very contentious conflict If you want to get a feel for what it was like during the Northern Ireland Conflict read this Even if you don’t read this Just for the writing Wow


  2. says:

    This is the first novel I have read about what are referred to in Belfast as The Troubles The protagonist Jimmy Fitzgeraldis a Catholic youth and a member of the IRA Virtually all the young men in the Catholic ie working classneighborhood there belong And in the opening scene Jimmy is being tortured He is being treated in ways that the Geneva Convention was created to prevent yet it doesn't He is a terrorist and so he can be treated any way they like proof or no proof The scene goes so far as to have him placed in a helicopter after the beating is over and he has regained consciousness They drop him from the helicopterand he goes only ten feet before he hits the ground He is broken After spitting in their faces after beating after beating in which he will only swear at his interrogators or say I love Ireland he is broken He only wants to live and to be gone and we might hope that the information he gives them is falsebut it isn't He gives up safe houses He gives up friends He does it with the condition that his closest friend since boyhood Louis Duffy will be sparedWhen it's over he is assigned to be an informantHe must meet with Detective Ian McDonald whose perspective we also gain later in the book He is outwardly an ordinary man a man who can look himself in the mirror and like what he sees every morning one who is responsible for enforcing the law upholding order and stopping the Irish attacks on the British troops that make their lives hell He has a wife and a little boy he loves and he thinks that he is a good person Some might see him as merely cynical I went into this book with a bias and I see a monster there I hope that others who read this book will think so tooCatholics are considered a lower class Finian dirt on the floor of Belfast We learn early on of a job Jimmy and his Da were given cleaning out the coal cellar of a Protestant family The family clearly enjoying a much higher standard of living is converting to gas central heat but they warn Jimmy and his Da that they have inventoried and expect everything to be there when they are done Jimmy and his father are horrified and seething at the suggestion that they might walk off with their one day employer's coal in their pockets This kind of rage beats in the hearts of most native Irish as opposed to the Orangemen imported generations ago by the Brits to give some credence to the lie that Belfast is majority ProtestantLater much later in the story after British cops have kicked in doors all over the neighborhood looking for IRA members after the family furniture in one residence and we can infer many others has been shredded mirrors broken the family's only television set smashed an Irish mother turns to her small son and asks Who was it put your Grandpa in prison?The lad repliesThe BritsWho?The BritsAyeWho wants to get your Da and lock him away?The BritsWho?Why did they do this to ye?Because I'm IrishAn' who is it that hates the Irish who is it robs the Irish who is it murders the Irish?The Britsfirst person quoting author hereShe took his head in both her hands to whisper An' who will protect yer mother from the Brits when he's a strong young man?I willWhy?Because I'm IrishThe mother calls her son a wee man and a brave Belfast boyThis novel spoke to me deeply I was a supporter of Sinn Fein during the hunger strikes of the 80's and I along with many other Irish Americans of whatever generation gave money for humanitarian aid Two thirds of the funds that paid for Irish independence came from Irish American pockets The same has held true for the cause of making Ireland free and united once Not everyone will appreciate this novel as I did The IRA has had press that likens them to serial killers when The Troubles took place and very few rejoinders sent to large newspapers ever saw the light of dayBut if your heart beats for one united Ireland or if you enjoy one helluva ride and you are neutral or undecided on the Irish Question then buy this book Read it You haven't read anything like it lately I promiseA personal note when I say I hate the Brits I mean that I hate the British political and military policy that says Ireland cannot be united with Ireland and that occupies and periodically terrorizes her inhabitants I also dislike almost every military move by the US government which I refuse to call my government Much of my youth was given to working toward social justice issuesI mention this because I have several British Goodreads friends I would not like them to think I dislike them personally or hold them responsible for what the British government has done unless of course you really do hate the Irish If you won't hold the US gov't against me I promise not to hold the government that makes your country's political and military decisions against you ;


  3. says:

    Won through a Goodreads GiveawayHighly recommended quick read for anyone interested in learning about the Irish Troubles from an author with street cred I wasn't familiar with how the IRA operated and this book revealed their strategy and day to day operations Although the IRA are notorious for employing car bombs and Molotov cocktails this book also showed how the BritishProtestants fought dirty The Brits may have had the resources for sophisticated weaponry and professionally trained soldiers but they definitely did not show mercy to the poor Catholics of Northern Ireland abducting innocent kids off the streets in Catholic neighborhoods? Not coolKeep in mind while reading that though Rebel Streets is set in the 1960's the violence in Belfast has only recently subsided There's still tension between Protestants and Catholics and when I was in Belfast last summer I discovered that there are still neighborhoods that are exclusively one religion Ireland is still struggling but we can hope for continued improvements in religious tolerance And for the Brits to back off


  4. says:

    Rebel Streets can send you reeling The book can pick you right up and throw you in the middle of those streets Not a comfortable place to be And what an understatement that is This stuff did not happen in the distant past Imagine being afraid to open your front door being afraid to send your children to school being afraid to live in your own neighborhood Think about it Imagine that this fear can become the norm You have no other choice Rebel Streets is so well written but hard to read because I was afraid to turn the pages I could not put it down like racing to the end with the brakes on A harrowing time for these people that love so hard and fight with deadly accuracy I could hear the sharp gritty click of heels on the wet streets accompanied by cigarette smoke and damp Always always looking and listening for a sniper's bullet Sweat soaked fright torturebe prepared It's funny; so hard to read to be a witness but I did not want it to end I wanted to protect; I wanted it solved Rebel Streets needs to be read so that we can have some measure of understanding some method of detection before it can be repeated


  5. says:

    very good history of the irish troubles although the irish have had a LOT Of troubles it was a bit long on the depressing details so i had to keep putting it down and coming back but still a good book with good characters and a good story


  6. says:

    Very eloquently written even to the point of flowery prose at times Emotionally engaging of characters on both sides of the Troubles Very Irish ending easy to see coming but wanting to read every word just the same


  7. says:

    Dark dark story of the streets of Ireland at the height of the conflict Very awkward and uncomfortable to read but an important book for me who is a pacifist and yet needs to understand what war looks like Scared me


  8. says:

    My blood has a bit of 'The Green' in it so this ancestral linked Eire Lass would love to read the history of the land she has 'some' connection with Kissed my lucky shamrock 'May the wind be always at your back and in times of trial and strife may God hold you in the palm of His hand'


  9. says:

    So sadThe troubles were such a conflicting time in history and this book captured that so well No one was completely innocent and no one was let off the hook