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

    Race & Cash & Rock & Roll

    George O’Brien
    Race & Cash & Rock & Roll
    The record label owner can be seen as the freebooter who turned up treasure in the buried American lives crying out in the hollers of the fields or the hymns of the hollows. Did well out of it too, knowing the ways of copyright and related business niceties. Well, it’s a free country, or so they say.
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    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.
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    This Island Now

    George O’Brien
    One of the most distinctive aspects of O’Faoláin’s ‘The Bell’ was its reportage, a genre related to British and American traditions of documentary writing, a departure from the ‘belles lettres’ conception and a socially conscious attempt to extend literature’s democratic appeal and demographic reach.
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    Not All Fool

    George O’Brien
    Mervyn Wall’s satires are in a playful and sometimes whimsical tradition which resists the uplift of the gods and heroes phase of the Irish revival and which includes many of the works of James Stephens and, at a pinch, Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds and The Poor Mouth.
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    Eating Crow

    George O’Brien
    An arresting debut novel is a notable contribution to the genre of Irish populist gothic and is dark enough to make one wonder if it might not be the last word on broken-family, ruined-child tropes of betrayal and inadequacy.
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    He Had to Do Something

    George O’Brien
    Sean O’Faoláin was not exactly a man of the people but a man who had ideas of the people. He was a Catholic, but he’d be damned if he was an Irish Catholic, and his taste veered towards the haute bourgeois, which was not the kind of thing you would shop locally for.
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    American Berserk

    George O’Brien
    American Berserk
    Philip Roth’s American Pastoral can be seen as the start of his most prolific period, when he turned to focus more on questions of assimilation and social mobility in a country John F Kennedy called “a nation of immigrants”.
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    Down Under

    George O’Brien
    Down Under
    Peter Carey’s Ned Kelly is Irish not in a straightforward or obvious way but is rather a metonymy for the citizen-outlier, the alternative history, the exemplary failure, the heroic victim, the road that is not just not travelled but is not on the map.
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    The Ends of the Earth

    George O’Brien
    In 1936, James Agee and photographer Walker Evans travelled on assignment to Hale County in Alabama, a place inhabited by poor tenant farmers, where the world seemed ironclad, immutable, one year discernible from another only by another death or marriage, the unsurprising and largely joyless round of a life without exits.
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