Delighted with this review by Michelle Woods on New York Irish Arts. Full review at link below. Excerpts below that.
Set in the Brothers of Godly Coercion for Young Boys of Meager Means, where Father Boland is convinced that something is amiss in the very walls of the building and where the retired “brudders” are stuffed in the attic, and where the pupils end up having to wear tally sticks around their necks to show how much they’ve sinned and how much punishment they’ll get, the novel mines the absurdity of the cruel Dickensian reality.
The blessing of Flann O’Brien is on Holohan’s writing: the Brannigan Brothers, for instance, who reappear in different entrepreneurial guises through the novel are pure exuberant riffs on O’Brien. These seeming blue collar guys are actually more learned than the Brothers.
The Brothers’ Lot comes out at a time when shocking things are happening in Irish life, like the Taoiseach criticizing the Vatican, and when, finally, a real reckoning seems to be coming.