In a way, the narrator of William Wall’s This is the Country is blessed. Before meeting Jacintha, he lives a squalid life of omnivorous drug-use on the fringes of the criminal underclass in an Irish city. His existence is a hellish fugue, with months meandering into each other, bringing nothing but self-loathing and oblivion. Jacintha finally gives him a purpose; he cleans up, gets a trade, and falls for the comforting allure of domesticity.
Unfortunately, though, Jacintha is the younger sister of Pat the Baker, a local gangster. When the narrator gets her pregnant, his legs are broken as a punishment. He retaliates by attacking The Baker with a chain, and has to flee to the countryside,