The Passed Note
Conor O'Brien


Hardcover w/ dust jacket
251mm x 203mm
68 pages, full colour offset
First edition 2010
ISBN: 9780980651614
Published by Rainoff Books

Thematically, THE PASSED NOTE has repeated images of tethered vessels, white things and doors, as well as a sprinkling of familiar characters, mostly female. According to Conor, the book ‘has a real teenage feeling and emotion to it’, backed up by the title and a typically bittersweet short story BUTTERFLY KNIFE, written by his partner Amanda Maxwell.

To my eyes, this emotion feels removed by several degrees, like in the photo of a book about Kurt Cobain, or the word ‘Youth’ peering out from another pile of books, partially obscured by a comfy blanket. Unlike many of his peers who pride themselves on their immersion in the scene, O’Brien is reflecting on a purity that can never be recovered, but remembered fondly for all its dusty, sun-bleached goodness.

Max Olijnyk