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

    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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    In Other Men’s Homes

    John Swift
    For all the mystique and mystification, imperialism, as Orwell recognised, is essentially a money-making racket, while the kernel of racism resides in the pretence that the exploited are not real human beings.
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    Lost in the Funhouse

    Tim Groenland
    Lost in the Funhouse
    Nabokov’s masterpiece still occasionally has to be defended against the charge that it uses a high-art modernist veneer to excuse pornographic pleasures. In fact it is a complex, convoluted literary puzzle, a hall of mirrors where moral viewpoint is elusive, an intellectual and aesthetic provocation set to challenge readers in a similar way to that in which a grandmaster sets a chess puzzle.
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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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    Birds in Words

    John Feehan
    British writer, radio producer and birdwatcher Tim Dee is the laureate of the feathered world, from the capercaillie, in Jacobean doublet, ink black with pearl drops, puffing his wobbling throat and singing like a drunk, to Ukraine bustards, calandra larks, swallows, black grouse, nightjars and demoiselle cranes.
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    Measure-taking

    Philip Coleman
    Anne Carson’s work is marked by a sense of the strange and a belief in the value of difficult art in forcing us to test known limits and forms of understanding.
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    Almost a Hoot

    Susan McCallum-Smith
    Charlotte Mendelson has abundant imagination and considerable comic gifts, but she would be well advised to pay more serious attention to the detail of her execution.
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    Words and Glances

    Shane Barry
    Words and Glances
    Henry James’s great novel, with its melding of the social and psychological aspects of character, represented a broad bridge connecting the societal narratives mastered by Austen, Dickens and Eliot and the Modernist canon of the twentieth century.
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    Side Views of the Self

    Denis Sampson
    Side Views of the Self
    Like another smart New Jersey Jewish boy, Philip Roth, Paul Auster has rendered the texture of American life through reportage, but he is somewhat set apart from the Jewish-American literary milieu by the influence of Beckett and the French poetic and philosophical traditions that gripped him as a young man.
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    The Joke’s the Thing

    David McKechnie
    The Joke’s the Thing
    Joseph Heller’s great novel is indeed a satire, not just on war but on McCarthyism and bureaucracy. But above all it is absurd –a sugar-coated pill to cope with the joke of war and the joke of life and a literary enterprise in which laughter is an end it itself.
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