Earlier this year, Julian Gough won the National Short Story Prize for ‘The Orphan and the Mob’, a gem of comic writing with the ingenuous Jude as its narrator. That piece serves as the prelude to Jude: Level One, and its very first sentence – ‘If I had urinated immediately after breakfast, the Mob would never have burnt down the Orphanage’ – neatly sums up just one of numerous disasters (and sometimes triumphs) Jude unwittingly causes throughout the novel.
Jude, being an orphan, has some interest in his origins, but is soon distracted by his ‘One True Love’, a chip-shop employee in Galway. He pursues her through the town, usually with a mob of some description chasing him, and accidentally ends up creating chaos wherever he goes. Bizarre events