Dolly Considine’s Hotel
By Eamon Somers
A young man is telling stories about guests in Dolly's hotel. Is that why someone wants to kill him?
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If fake news has barely a grain of truth, and fantasy fiction is about other worlds, why are his stories going to get Dolly’s lounge-boy killed? Poor Julian
Dolly Considine’s Hotel is a story about waiting, is about sexuality and pregnancy, is about the Irish Civil War, disobedience and pragmatic politics, is about artistic purity and artistic licence, reliable and unreliable narrators, alcohol and jobbing civil servants, and above all is about Dublin, and whether Julian will ever see Malone again.
Dolly is bored with her alcoholic husband, her distant lover, her supercilious son, and quietly furious that it is the fame of her late-night drinking establishment and not her radical ideas for political reform that will live on in Dublin legend.
Interwoven through the reliably narrated account of Dolly’s life is Julian Ryder’s 1983 “Summer of Unrequited Love” – populated with malignant monologues, the shamelessly misrepresented actions and motives of the hotel’s guests and staff (living and dead), and even the eulogies that might be written about him should he die at the hands of the people he’s upsetting with his stories. And then there’s Malone…. How much can you believe? Why not just sit back and enjoy the ride?
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Eamon Somers was born and grew up in inner city Dublin. He was a campaigner and spokesperson for Ireland’s fledgling lesbian and gay rights movement in the early 80’s. During the economic downturn he was made redundant and, having moved to London, spent two years working in Haringey’s Lesbian and Gay Unit until Clause 28 and Council Tax cuts sent him into the charity housing sector where he continues to work.
Eamon’s story Spring in the Country won the Carmarthen short story competition sponsored by BBC Wales. Other stories have been published in Chroma, Tees Valley Writer, and ABC Tales. The Journal of Truth and Consequence (University of Phoenix) published Fear of Landing and gave it a Pushcart Prize nomination. Nataí Bocht was included (alongside Keith Ridgway) in a collection entitled Quare Fellas published in Ireland. An extract from his novel Dolly Considine’s Hotel was included in Automatic Pilot magazine in 2018.
Eamon is a graduate of the certificate in creative writing at Birckbeck College London - the forerunner of the current MA. He has attended many courses including Summer Schools at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin run by the Stinging Fly Magazine, and Carlo Gébler.
Eamon is the father of three wonderful children. He and his Civil Partner (Tomás) are very proud of their three-year-old grandson Daragh.
Eight-year-old Paddy Butler’s mother gave up wearing tights and began to dress in florals tops and long patchwork skirts when his father went off to live in London. So whenever he and his friend Johnner hid in the bushes of next door’s front garden, it was Johnner’s mother who donated the laddered tights they cut and pulled over their faces to spend an afternoon spying like in The Man from Uncle. Except Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin lived in such a big city that they didn’t have neighbours and didn’t have to hide their faces.
Next door’s garden was overgrown with hedges and grass and dandelions running wild, and they could crouch down inside all afternoon, listening to and watching the bush filtered passers-by, safe behind the vegetation and the stretched nylon. They had to maintain total silence when they were spying; but while it was easy to mime shock or point at the state of a neighbour’s shoes; a stretched, distorted and itchy face couldn’t communicate a subtle observation about the gossip they overheard. And every spying session ended when the frustration became so much that words threatened to spill out by themselves, like an overfull bladder. It was always Johnner who gave in first, and Paddy who smiled inside the foot of Mrs Johnston’s tights and allowed himself to be led next door to Johnner’s front room where they would speak with only the ears of walls listening and laugh at the things they’d seen and heard.
Paddy kept his junior detective’s notebook rolled up in his coat pocket when he was in the garden. But later in bed he flattened it out to record every observation made during their afternoon stakeout, and in the past had fallen asleep wondering whether the woman from the bread shop cared that the hem of her skirt could be seen beneath the red coat she always wore, and why the owner of the corner house sometimes had a limp. On this particular June evening, he’d wondered what Johnner’s father had meant when he’d said to a man they didn’t know: “She might be the prettiest women in Cabra, but no self-respecting husband should have to put up with that kind of thing.” And before he fell asleep his notebook absorbed the words: “When I grow up I will change my name to Julian.”
- 28th July 2019 Wow, is this really happening to me?
It would be a gross understatement to say that I've been waiting for a moment like this for quite a long time. We (me and my funders and my publishers and my readers) are setting out on a journey which will have highs and lows, tears of joy and hopefully tears more tears of joy. I am genuinely touched by the support and encouragement I received so far, and hope that you will feel like a part of…28th July 2019 My wonderful first week
Thank you, it's so exciting to have received my first enthusiastic supporters. It's been an exciting and terrifying week contacting (I won't say reaching out to) friends and family to let them know that I am one step closer to having a novel published after so many years of waiting. Below is a bit more about how Dolly Considine's Hotel came about, and what it's about. I look…
These people are helping to fund Dolly Considine’s Hotel.