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2015-1: Tipperary Tango
by Fergal Anton.
ASR3 pb2
paperback second edition

"This writer was a genius!" --- Sean Dineen.
"hilarious caper .... beautiful women, brothels, Russian agents, and a clever, fast-paced plot" --- An Cosantóir, The Defence Forces Magazine.

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Fionn Óg Mac Tubaiste is prey to a number of frustrations. His day job is a university lectureship in Mathematics. This can be wearing, but his problems with the Third Engineers don't stand comparison with his hopeless passion for Aisling Hennessy, who loves him but is determined to be good. His problem with the fiery Maeve Fotheringgay-Ffrench, his lodger, is quite the opposite. Maeve is determined to be wicked, but as long as she is a student, rudimentary prudence obliges him to restrain his lust for her. None of these problems hold a candle to those associated with Fionn's part-time job as (sole) field man of the Irish Secret Service, ASR.

ASR is run by Malachy Mulligan ("M"), the least civil and least principled Principal Officer in the Civil Service. It has a surprising number of jobs to do, and Fionn is supposed to do them all. His methods are nothing like James Bond's.

The period is the early eighties. The world's finest secret service operates in Ireland, as it does everywhere else, but it finds conditions unusually trying. When Fionn comes to the Russians' attention, field agents Grigory Pavlovich Milyutin and Katarina Alexeyevna Ural'tseva are assigned to tail him, and things rapidly begin to come unstuck.

Fergal Anton's mother came from old Ascendancy stock, but ran away to join a travelling circus in her teens and proved to have a talent for the high wire. She married a Hungarian lion-tamer, and Fergal was born in winter quarters in Picardy in 1955. Orphaned at the age of four when his parents attempted a daring double-act, he was taken into the the care of a wealthy, kindly, but eccentric aunt, who lived in the shadow of the Devilsbit mountain in north Tipperary. She attempted to home-school him, with mixed results. As a child, obsessed with Mathematics, she neglected other studies, so that she had to spend her nineteenth year at Caffrey's College in Dublin in order to pass Latin in the Matriculation Examination. She boarded at the Ashling Hotel, and fell hopelessly in love with Ludwig Wittgenstein, also in residence there at the time. This entirely unrequited passion dominated her life, largely spent in reclusive mathematical investigation and repeated attempts to get to grips with Wittgenstein's thought. Fergal's education at her hands exposed him to some rigorous thinking and inculcated a love of books, but hardly prepared him for the usual bourgeois treadmill. He picked up some skills in a couple of abortive apprenticeships, but was unable to settle, and became a wandering jack-of-all-trades and adventurer. Little is known of this period of his life. Some believe he served in the Royal Navy, or the French Foreign Legion, or worked clearing minefields in the Western Desert. He certainly worked as a security guard for a number of companies, before finally settling in the position of night-watchman in a university library. He did not return from holiday in the Summer of 1995, and has never been seen since. When his aunt died, his room in her house was found to contain a mass of his effects, including voluminous writings. On examination, the manuscript of this novel came to light. Her heirs brought it to the attention of Logic Press. Since this is a work of fiction, and is not to be taken seriously as describing any real events or depicting any real characters, it is not suitable for the ordinary catalogue of the Press. So we founded a separate division, and now Less Serious Books is pleased to bring this work before the public.

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Updated 14-6-2019
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