"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 

Shit Buzz in Belgrade

Giles Newington
Kevin Power’s new novel is both riotous rant and thoughtful coming-of-age tale. The punchy lyricism enables sympathy as well as laughter, a sense that the characters are moving along predestined paths that give them little chance of understanding either themselves or the society around them.
Apr 8, 2021, 15:46 PM

No Myth No Nation

Maurice Earls
A state, no more than an individual, is at a loss if it does not know from where it came. Independent Ireland, having lost its connection with the nineteenth century, is such a case. There are many reasons for the disjuncture, not least the trauma of partition. 
Apr 8, 2021, 15:35 PM
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The Sly Masquerade

Kevin Stevens
For quality of output, for growth and longevity, for the honesty and intensity of his narrative voices and for the relentless quest for forms that would make sense of his and his country’s experience, Philip Roth has few rivals, during the long stretch of his career or at any other time.
Apr 8, 2021, 14:03 PM

Taming the Past

John Swift
The terms ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’ are not mutually exclusive, in the present or in the past. History matters and cannot be ignored. But in trying to shape a peaceful future for Ireland we should be aware of the danger of too much history, in particular a one-sided obsession with past wrongs.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:49 PM

The Anti-Freud

Seamus O’Mahony
Dr Trotter challenged Freud, asserting that ‘all human psychology … must be the psychology of associated man, since man as a solitary animal is unknown to us’. Herd instinct, whether protective, socialised or aggressive, was a positive human quality, tending towards altruism.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:46 PM

The Europeans

Enda O’Doherty
Eurosceptics have been predicting the collapse of the EU for twenty years now, sure that the citizens would realise it was all an impossible dream, or a system of oppression wrapped in a dream. But the citizens continue to disappoint them, seldom wildly enthusiastic but solidly convinced they are better off with Europe than without.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:41 PM

Webs and Networks

Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin
In popular imagination, the Arts and Crafts movement is indelibly linked to well-known figures like William Morris, John Ruskin and Edward Burne-Jones. One could be forgiven for thinking women featured only as muses and models to celebrity artists and intellectuals.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:29 PM

Voices from the Chorus

George O’Brien
Given the historical amnesia into which many of the individuals and their works have fallen, Katrina Goldstone’s account of the activity of Irish left-wing writers in the Thirties, the numbers involved and the energy they brought to their causes all constitute something of a revelation.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:11 PM

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Tom Hennigan
It was once possible to regard the judge Sergio Moro as a zealous, perhaps overzealous, prosecutor of corruption. That all changed when he agreed to serve in Brazil’s current far-right administration, a decision that has retrospectively tainted everything that went before.
Apr 8, 2021, 13:06 PM

Freefall in the Suburbs

Susan McKeever
In Danielle McLaughlin’s first novel brief moments of high drama intermingle with journeys into the complex, foggy territory of the past while a slow-burn reveal of several truths and satisfying introspection come together in layers to create a thought-provoking read.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:42 AM

In Defence of the Gàidhealtachd

Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh
Activists concerned to protect the oldest of all living Scottish languages have been wrongly accused of perpetrating a sort of nationalist essentialism. In fact Gaels are more likely to associate themselves with more than just one kind of Scottish identity than non-Gaels.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:37 AM

Stalking Truth

Dick Edelstein
Geraldine Mitchell’s four collections have in part sprung from insights gleaned from a lifetime of covert observation and independently considered reflection, beginning at a very early age when she spied on adults, refusing to take their statements about the world at face value.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:31 AM

Love Hurts

Tadhg Hoey
Megan Nolan’s debut novel, a refreshingly honest and often uncomfortable meditation on the relationship between desire, self-destruction and the female body, marks her out as one of the most daring and gifted writers of her generation.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:26 AM

In Rothko’s Rooms

Deirdre Hines
Ekphrastic poems allow a poet to amplify and expand the meaning of the piece of art being viewed. Less common is the collection that is informed as a whole by one painter, creating an aural and an optical illusion that the depicted poet and poems exist in three dimensions.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:22 AM

Against the Clock

Tim Murphy
In his new collection, Greg Delanty makes another valuable contribution to the poetry of environmental consciousness. His reflections on species of flora or fauna that are thriving, endangered, or extinct frame a political consideration of climate change and an ever more urgent call to action.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:18 AM

Dream Time

Arthur McCaffrey
The pursuit of the common good, Pope Francis argues in a new book, needs societies to focus now on the urgent need for practical measures of fraternity with just as much determination as they have focused on equality and liberty since the late nineteenth century.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:13 AM

They Heard the Call

John Horgan
A history of Ireland’s main Catholic seminary has a much wider focus than the merely institutional and provides a fascinating account of the vibrant, sometimes unruly, throng of students and teachers that left their mark on Maynooth, as it undeniably left its mark on them.
Apr 8, 2021, 10:08 AM