Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Books

Take a deep breath ...

•In the opening story, Some Great Project, the narrator's stepbrother, who runs a bar in Benidorm, smokes six cigarettes simultaneously in memory of six soldier comrades from the Falklands war.

• In Things Seem So Far Away, Here, chainsmoking Linda lights up in front of her straight-laced sister-in-law: "The look she shot at the cigarette was pure poison. Linda ignored it."

• Feeling alienated at a stag party in Las Vegas, "David picked up a spare packet of cigarettes and lit one. He'd not smoked in 13 years."

• In The Brooklyn of Lou Lou In The Blue Bottle, "everything was fine until O'Neil decided to give up smoking. It was a snap decision, taken after he'd watched a television programme about an old man who'd had to have his leg amputated because of the cigarettes".

• "She means everything to me," Ben says of his artist girlfriend in Real Work.

"I honestly can't bear the thought of being without her."

"That's the way I used to feel about cigarettes," Emma said, laughing.

"Now I can't stand the sight of them."

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