Extended Review of the Brothers’ Lot

Extract below.  to read the full review, follow the link below.


This refusal to stick with one perspective characterizes the author’s approach towards a sensitive subject. To address a topic as painful as clerical abuse abetted by state collusion and lay cowardice, he opts for passages of pain alternating with those of play. The novel grows grimmer as it continues, yet Holohan’s honesty forces him, as we who read it, to question our own participation and reactions to similar situations, however obliquely conveyed, that confront us.

Upon this ethical foundation for an entertaining tale, Holohan follows a satirical tradition which questions authority, undermines cliché, and upends the social order. Reading “The Brother’s Lot, I thought not only of Flann O’Brien and Kafka but of another Dubliner, Jonathan Swift. He constructed his own moral tales inflating the small and deflating the large, while working at a splendid church across the Liffey River, on the nicer side of the city. Not far from where sometime late this past century, this school of Godly Coercion is said to have risen and fallen.

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