The Rest Just Follows, Glenn Patterson
If you grew up in south Belfast in the 1970s this novel may read like a long-forgotten diary.
Northern Ireland novelist Patterson co-wrote the script for the brilliant Good Vibrations film. He has a knack for spotting the details of past eras without allowing them to become contrived.
He captures the slang, clothes and bars of Belfast of the time as he tells the stories of the lives and loves of a group of young people growing up and reaching adulthood.
They find that even when they leave the small world they grew up in it never quite leaves them.
This new series revisits the bleak frozen towns and highways of Minnesota from the 1996 Coen brothers dark comedy film. It has blood, death and gore served up with an “aw jeez” and a Minnesotan smile.
Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) is a worn out life insurance salesman whose family sees him as a loser.
He gets beaten up by the bully from his high school, grown up into a bigoted trucking boss and a bigger bully than ever.
In a hospital waiting room lonely and sinister hit man Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) is drawn to Lester’s sense of powerlessness. He becomes committed to helping him seek revenge.
The police are caught in the middle of the barbarism and absurdity that follows.
All rural Mid-Western “morality” is turned upside down, any sense of a right or wrong chucked in the ditch.
As Lorne tells Lester, “You spent your whole life thinking there are rules...there aren’t.”