‘“Mrs Byrne, you’ve a beautiful, very pale, ginger-haired baby boy with a wonky eye.” As she was handed me by the midwife, my mother wept for all the wrong reasons. She could have shagged a platypus and I still would have come out better than this.’
So begins Jason Byrne’s Adventures of a Wonky-Eyed Boy, a laugh-out-loud memoir that captures the childhood adventures of an accident-prone youngster in 1970s and 1980s suburban Dublin.
It was a time when your brother persuaded you to eat the grease behind the cooker by telling you it was caramel, your house was blown up by lightning, your dad mixed up the toothpaste and the ‘arse-cream’, and you fell asleep on Sunday nights to the sound of one of the neighbours – who were all named Paddy – drunkenly singing ‘Magic Moments’ in the good front room. All of this while trying to stop your wonky eye from giving the game away.
Jason Byrne’s childhood adventures are nostalgic, heart-warming and, above all, hilarious.