Reading through Drimnagh man Michael Thurlow’s satirical history of Marlin Communal Aerials’s evolution is like dredging the rich nuggets of a political, cultural and social memory mine. The Marley Man glitters with such treasures, providing a vivid, three dimensional setting for a narrative which goes above and beyond the documenting of the early beginnings of Cable T.V. Events such as the assassination of John Lennon, the arrival of Rubik’s Cube, the Pope’s visit to the Phoenix Park, provide an authentic backdrop while the soundtrack comes courtesy of various artists down through the decades, artists such as The Boomtown Rats and Dr Hook. Humour is never far from the surface as befits the telling of work practices which were punctuated by a knock on the door, the plugging in of the kettle and the de rigueur provision of Kimberly biscuits. There’s a tremendous sense of camaraderie throughout. Thurlow describes the lot of the Cable T.V repairman as “rain trying to pummel us off the ladder and the wind trying to blow us into submission.” Weaving through The Marley Man is also the tender and compassionate partial biography of Thurlow’s personal life, which marks him out as a writer of considerable talent.

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Dublin, Marlin Communal Aerials, Boomtown Rats, Drimnagh