Dan Starkey, hero of Divorcing Jack, is back in an entirely wonderful adventure in America. Fat Boy McMaster is a hopeless heavyweight boxer, but he has managed to become champion of Ireland, and his devious manager has succeeded in setting up a gigantic payday (largely for himself, admittedly) with a St Patrick's Day fight in New York against ...Read MoreDan Starkey, hero of Divorcing Jack, is back in an entirely wonderful adventure in America. Fat Boy McMaster is a hopeless heavyweight boxer, but he has managed to become champion of Ireland, and his devious manager has succeeded in setting up a gigantic payday (largely for himself, admittedly) with a St Patrick's Day fight in New York against Mike Tyson. Journalist Dan Starkey is hired to write the book of the whole affair. Starkey tries to persuade his wife Patricia to give their marriage another try, but he has not succeeded before boarding the plane for the Big Apple with McMaster and his deeply suspect entourage. Once there McMaster's wife is kidnapped, almost every interest group is outraged, the Champ is chased all over town by gunmen of varying allegiance, Starkey's marriage is saved -- and, yes, there is the Big Fight to consider too!Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1997-03-31 Dan Starkey, the dubious hero of Divorcing Jack, is back again. This time, the boozy journalist brings his hilarious sarcasm and misguided action-hero antics to New York, where his mission is to cover a heavyweight championship bout between "Fat Boy" McMaster, an unlikely Belfast boxer, and Mike Tyson, on St. Patrick's Day. When McMaster's wife, Mary, is kidnapped following an unwittingly racist comment McMaster makes at a press conference, Starkey turns sleuth along with ex-cop Peter Smith to investigate the case. In due course, he will take part in a commando attack on a Muslim temple, serve as a punching bag for a troupe of homosexual waiters, and be saved from the jaws of death by a large Minke whale. With characteristic imaginative flair, Bateman works an astonishing number of issues into the plot, including racism, bigotry, religious extremism, alcoholism and inter-ethnic romanceŠand that's just for starters. This is indeed an extended romp, but not as tight and focused as Bateman's previous work. It also reflects a distinct political and religious bias, which will surprise readers who appreciated Starkey's earlier, more tongue-in-cheek approach to Northern Ireland sectarianism. Nevertheless, Bateman delivers the kind of humor and sense of the ridiculous that his fans will relish. (May)
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