Mark O’Connell : A Thread of Violence

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Mark O’Connell : A Thread of Violence.


28 January, 2024


Doors 14.30 Event Start 15.00



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Mark O’Connell in conversation with Joe Nawaz

From the award-winning author comes the gripping tale of one of the most scandalous murderers in modern Irish history, at once a propulsive work of true crime and an act of literary subversion.

Malcolm Macarthur was a well-known Dublin socialite and heir.  Suave and urbane, he passed his days mingling with artists and aristocrats, reading philosophy, and living a life of the mind. But by 1982, his inheritance had dwindled to almost nothing, a desperate threat to his lifestyle.

Macarthur hastily conceived a plan: He would commit bank robbery, of the kind that had become frightfully common in Dublin at the time. But his plan spun swiftly out of control, and he needlessly killed two innocent people. The ensuing manhunt, arrest, and conviction amounted to one of the most infamous political scandals in modern Irish history, contributing to the eventual collapse of the government.

Mark O’Connell is a writer from Dublin. He is the author of Notes from an Apocalypse (2020) and To Be a Machine (2017), which was awarded the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize, the 2019 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and The Guardian.

“A masterpiece”— The Observer

“Disturbing [and] compelling”— Colm Toíbín

“Superb and unforgettable”— Sally Rooney 

“A masterly work”— John Banville 

“Morally complex and mesmerizing”— Fintan O’Toole

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