Ultimately the question in “The Day I Made Good”, probably
exactly like in Michael’s own sentence, is: at what point in a long sentence
does one “make good”? And, in this
story, who is it exactly that is “making good”?
The narrator, having wasted his life, pledging to change at a tragic
moment, or was it long before that, when he made the decision to study in
prison, or even immediately at the time of the events which put him there? Or perhaps Villain Snr. is making good, just
before it is too late, by delivering his moral message in true,
self-discommending, Jimmy Cagney style. Whichever
the answer, Michael Irwin should know – as a convicted criminal turned masters-degree
educated criminologist, he is actually one of the few who can truly explain the
feeling of repentance under such inevitably forlorn circumstances, with this
little tale, simultaneously so common, yet so abnormal to most; he crafts the
question(s?) and the answer well.
In : Book Reviews