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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Our Gods and Theirs

    Patrick Claffey
    Our Gods and Theirs
    Religious belief has the power to define, but also to divide peoples. While it can be seen as in some respects a retrogressive force, there is no basis for the secularist view that it is on the way out. As Régis Debray put it, ‘we can no more disinvent religion than we can the atom bomb’.
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    Nordy Noir Knocks at the Door

    Sharon Dempsey
    Anna Burns’s Booker success drew attention to fiction about the Troubles. What irked a little, says one writer, was the ignorance of the literary establishment, as if no one had written on the topic before. Much of that writing was done in genre fiction, which may be why they were unaware of it.
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    Funny Ah! Aah!

    Michael Hinds
    To write comic fiction in a context where everything seems risible, to orchestrate chaos in the necessary fashion, you have to be incredibly smart, in the sense of that term as both verb and adjective. To be smart, your words also have to smart; to give pleasure, you must also bring pain.
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    The Quest for the Celt

    Michael Gibbons
    A major archaeological study in 1930s Ireland carried out detailed measurement of a wide range of features from a representative sample of the population, with a particular focus on the shape and size of the Irish skull and its relationship to prevailing theories of racial descent and intellectual ability.
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    Stoker’s Surprise Package

    Martin Greene
    The ‘Dracula’ author’s penultimate novel, published in 1909, is a rollicking tale of adventure, an excursion into science fiction which presciently foresees the future development of aerial warfare, an exercise in political utopianism and a vampire story which turns out to have no vampire.
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    Crushing Democracy

    Philip O’Connor
    Probably no independence movement in history, anywhere, enjoyed the overwhelming democratic mandate of the First Dáil, which was suppressed by Britain. Yet curiously the meaning of that election and of its consequences continues to be raked over and disputed.
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    Care and Control

    Joseph Harbison
    A comprehensive new history of Ireland’s largest hospital gives an account of its medieval beginnings and development through a period when the sick, who were also very often the poor, represented a category who should be cared for, but who were also often perceived as a threat.
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    ‘Noble’ Nations, ‘Plebeian’ Nations

    Andreas Hess
    A comparative survey of the history of Catalonia, in its relations with Spain, and Scotland, in its relations with the United Kingdom, is erudite and eloquent, yet it fails to provide a balanced or convincing account of the recent rise of nationalist movements in either territory.
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    The Word as Trampoline

    Maeve O’Sullivan
    James Finnegan is a poet concerned with ideas and with ecological matters. His observant eye can zoom in to pick up details about birds, dogs, cats, horses, reindeer and even penguins. There is some dark humour at work too, as in an imagined reversal of the human-pet relationship.
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    Love in the Time of Austerity

    Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
    An artful, nuanced take on life in post-Tiger Ireland, Sally Rooney’s Normal People is a breathtaking reflection on love and unequal exchange between two people seeking equilibrium in a time of perilous instability.
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