Fat Protestant boy, Chuckie, says of his meeting with Max, the American girl with whom he falls in love: 'He hadn't told her too many lies and he hadn't looked exclusively at her breasts. That was good going. Relative honesty and looking at her face while she spoke was good behaviour by Chuckie's standards. For a moment he felt like a plump David Niven.' Chuckie, who goes from poverty to wild riches in Ireland, then America, thanks to his crazed entrepreneurial vision, is one of the great comic capitalist creations, almost akin to Milo Minderbender in Catch 22 or William Gaddis's JR. He cons various Northern Ireland economic regeneration bodies into giving him hundreds of thousands of pounds for wonderfully daft projects. Perhaps the funniest is a balaclava manufacturing business to take advantage of the headgear's ubiquity in Ireland among terrorists of all persuasions.