"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Not Biting Their Tongues

Adrian Paterson
An exhibition at Trinity College Dublin shows the wonderful variety and vigour of writing about the visual arts in Ireland in the 1890s and the early years of the last century, a phenomenon which the prestige of more purely literary work tends to make us forget.
Nov 10, 2016, 10:24 AM

Let’s Shop

Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin
An historical study of consumer culture across several centuries provides fascinating insights, but its desire to be value-free and non-judgmental leaves unresolved many important questions about the sometimes appalling human costs of global capitalism.
Nov 10, 2016, 10:19 AM

The View from the Tower

John Banville
Philosophers had interpreted the world, but the point was surely to change it, Marx asserted. But with socialist change seeming to lead to disappointing or even frightening results, many twentieth century intellectuals turned Marx’s dictum on its head, seeking refuge in theory.
Nov 9, 2016, 18:46 PM

Glorious Luminary

James Ward
A new study provides impressively wide-ranging commentary on William Blake’s sources, influences, and working methods, as well as his cultural afterlives. Blake was not just an eccentric but a genius and visionary who was repeatedly debilitated by paranoia and depression.
Nov 9, 2016, 18:39 PM

Suffering and Sanctity

Carol Taaffe
Emma Donoghue’s new novel, set in nineteenth century, post-Famine Ireland and centring on the case of a ‘fasting child’ who refuses all food, is at its most compelling in the attention it devotes to a religious culture that elevates suffering, and yet which provides consolation too.
Nov 9, 2016, 18:33 PM

Sins of the Advocate

Frank Callanan
The Irish-American lawyer John Quinn defended Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap of the ‘Little Review’ from prosecution for publishing extracts from ‘Ulysses’. The prosecution led to the effective banning of the book in 1921. Quinn’s defence strategy left a lot to be desired.
Nov 9, 2016, 18:21 PM


Rachel Andrews
Ed O’Loughlin’s new novel is set in the wild open spaces of the Canadian Arctic and benefits from a wealth of detailed research into the history of exploration in this remote reason. Against this pleasure, however, the outlines of the contemporary characters remain vague.
Nov 9, 2016, 14:59 PM

Time, Gentlemen

George O’Brien
Rounds of drinks, and rounds of various Dublin pubs, are only the most obvious instances of a more general notion of circulation in a novel whose subtitle, “another day in Dublin”, pays a downbeat homage to, as well as establishing a distance from, the book of June 16th, 1904.
Nov 9, 2016, 14:50 PM

Money with Morals

Seán Byrne
Ireland’s reliance on multinational investment puts it in the demeaning position of having to constantly adapt to the changing needs of multinational companies. Meanwhile, our fiercely defended low rate of corporation tax is under severe threat now that our main ally in defending it is leaving the EU.
Nov 9, 2016, 11:35 AM

At the Apex

Donncha O’Connell
A major new study of Ireland’s highest court brilliantly tells the story of the people ‑ judges, lawyers and litigants ‑ that shaped its institutional personality, the doctrinal battles that ended up there and the impact of its decisions on politics and society.
Nov 9, 2016, 11:20 AM

The Last Ditch

Anthony Roche
In 1969, as the fourth and final volume of his correspondence reveals, Samuel Beckett let it be known in a letter to his German publisher, Siegfried Unseld, that he did not wish to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. He did so, however, with the usual Beckett mix of ambiguity and contradiction.
Nov 9, 2016, 11:13 AM