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A Gangland Problem

Gerry Mullins Author Interview

Gerry Mullins Author Interview

Testosterone Dublin 8 follows a man that uses testosterone to escape his unhappy life and in the process gets caught up with Dublin’s criminals. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

A doctor suggested I start taking testosterone, and that prompted my interest in the hormone. As I observed changes in my own mind and body, and read more about it, I realized it could provide the foundation for a very interesting book.

Most people associate the hormone with sex and athletics, but it influences so much more, particularly mood, ambition, drive and confidence. That makes it a very interesting issue to write about, but I could find no other novel about it.

There was a time when only elite athletes took anabolic steroids (which means testosterone), but now millions of ordinary men (and some women) around the world are juicing. There are myriad advantages and dangers to this.

In addition, I live in a part of the Irish capital called Dublin 8, which is going through the gentrification process – just like other cities throughout the world such as San Francisco where I used to live.

Gentrification provides a very interesting energy in a place as ‘old’ and ‘new’ residents live side-by-side, usually together, but separate. Occasionally hostile. I wanted to comment on this in a book. A law-abiding man who suddenly becomes a drug dealer was the vehicle to do this. He had felt a little superior to his new neighborhood, but as time goes by, it’s clear he isn’t that much different from the people he lives among.

Jimmy is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that drove his character development?

He is disappointed in his life. He was from a middle-class family and middle-class community, but didn’t achieve this in his adult life. Losing his job is confirmation of this. Frequently he feels the judgement of his late father, who reminds him of his failings during his lowest points. He is ashamed, angry and suicidal.

Jimmy’s enhanced manliness leads to a drug-dealing business, and his pride is gradually restored. But when the money starts rolling in, what is his ambition for it? To move to a middle-class area; to finally be the person his late father wanted him to be.

The story takes place in Dublin. Why was this time and place important to your story?

Dublin has a gangland problem and there have been many murders in the Dublin 8 area that is described in the book.

In addition, this area is changing as new people who have middle-class aspirations arrive, displacing lower-class families who have been there for generations.

So the time and the place are important because they generate a natural environment for stories like mine to emerge. The reason Jimmy is living there is because of gentrification. The reason he can get involved in the drugs business is because that business is all around him.

More generally, Dublin is celebrated in many novels, and is most famously linked to works that were published 100 years ago. Nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to describe the Dublin of here and now.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am not working any but have several in mind involving the characters of Testosterone, Dublin 8.

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Testosterone, Dublin 8 by [Gerry Mulins]

TV producer Jimmy Fyffe starts taking anabolic steroids to restore the ‘manliness’ he has lost in a high-pressure career and unhappy marriage. His plan works – a little too well. Soon he is a cocaine dealer, carving out a market in Dublin’s more affluent suburbs. This draws him into conflict with two established drugs gangs. He is kidnapped, beaten and terrorised, and is linked to the killing of a drugs-lord and two Gardaí.

Is Jimmy next to die, or will the same newfound machismo that landed him in trouble also help him escape it? Things get worse before they get better. The extra testosterone in his system hardens him both mentally and physically, but he also becomes reckless and arrogant. Ultimately, redemption is found during an ayahuasca ceremony in the Wicklow mountains, when Jimmy confronts his past through a conversation with his dead father.

Testosterone, Dublin 8 describes the effect of the ‘male hormone’ on an individual, and on wider society. It is told against the backdrop of a gentrifying Dublin, where the two main tribes – locals and blow-ins – live side by side. It is a moral tale wrapped in a classic thriller that gets to the heart – and veins – of modern Ireland.

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Testosterone, Dublin 8

Testosterone, Dublin 8 by [Gerry Mulins]

Gerry Mullins, Testosterone Dublin 8, is a story like none other I’ve read. Call it a breath of fresh air in a world where every book is the same as the last one you read. It’s the story of a big time T.V. producer, who goes by the name Jimmy, who carves out a living from entrapping criminals to commit a crime and catching them in the act with cameras ‘blazing’ and then coerces them to feature in his show, the Redeemables. His intentions of casting the criminal, though noble, get him to bite off more than what he can chew when he catches the wrong guy in the act. His arrest of Joey sets off a chain reaction of electrifying events which lead his life down a path he did not expect.

Jimmy Fyffe, TV producer turned drug dealer, is a character I didn’t expect to like. In a quest to restore his ‘manliness’ he’s embroiled in the criminal underworld when his steroid use turns to drug dealing. But Jimmy’s struggle for a better life makes him relatable, if not understandable. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a man altered by testosterone and once that finally clicked I really enjoyed his vigorous character. Once Jimmy crosses paths with some unsavory characters in Dublin’s underworld, we really get to see what drives Jimmy and how testosterone can change a man in more ways than one.

The story is set in Dublin and the setting is drawn exceptionally well. While Jimmy is an intriguing character, his character is colorized by a compelling city that is in the midst of change of all kinds. The clash of classes reminded me of the show Peaky Blinders. I appreciated the detail that was devoted to creating such a rich backdrop.

Testosterone, Dublin 8 is a thrilling crime novel that humanizes objectionable characters. It explores how testosterone can change someone and how those affects ripple through society. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a riveting novel with a unique view on Dublin and the gangs that prowl its streets.

Pages: 255 | ASIN: B084Q7DGSB

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