'I’m only telling you this to let you know what a silly thing it is to live like I do. What it was, I got sacked from my seventeenth job for fighting or gambling—I don’t know which—and because I was hardly ever there. I was gambling all right, but someone called me a cheat and swung at me, I moved my head and swung back and this kid went in to one of the bosses with blood coming out of his mouth saying I was a standover man.
'The Chantic Bird is the confession of a teenage anarchist, who combines a contempt for contemporary society with a great tenderness and warmth for his younger siblings and for Bee, the girl who looks after them.
'The first of David Ireland’s masterful novels, The Chantic Bird contains the same characteristic indictment of the bovine mindlessness of collective humanity, and the home-owning wage slaves.
‘It has been my aim to take apart, then build up piece by piece, this mosaic of one kind of human life…to remind my present age of its industrial adolescence.’ David Ireland
'This edition of The Chantic Bird comes with a new introduction by Geordie Williamson.' (Text Classic summary)