Press

I’m tempted to quote Nietzsche back at Rob Doyle: he’s not a writer – he is dynamite! Except – like Nietzsche – he’s a tremendous writer too. And I have a suspicion that the author of this provocative and thrilling collection is going to get even better. –  Geoff Dyer

 

Doyle’s willingness to push the envelope of art into the dark depths of experimentation ensures no subjects are off limits… It would, of course, be easy to berate Doyle as an author who is going for the cheap shot here, using the shock factor to gain notoriety. But to make such value judgements would be to completely misunderstand the length, breadth, depth and brilliance of his artistic vision. This is the Ritual is a masterstroke in experimental short fiction brimming with ideas, vulgarity and intelligence. And Ireland has just gained a cult author of exceptional talent. – Sunday Independent

 

These bleak, brilliant stories also maintain the cloacal tradition of Swift and Joyce. But don’t be put off by the literary allusions. These compelling vignettes stand up for themselves even if you’re ignorant of the more arcane influences. They transport us beyond the routines and petty distractions of our daily round… An unsettling collection – cries from a psychic wasteland, fragments shored against ruin. – Sunday Times

 

Doyle’s cocky passion proves irresistible. He writes with the confidence of a literary giant. Doyle is as good as everyone — from John Boyne to Colm Tóibín — says he is. – Daily Mail

 

Relentless nihilism… With This Is The Ritual, Doyle has confirmed his status as one of the finest of the new generation of Irish writers. – Hot Press

 

This Is the Ritual bears out this lightness, this playfulness, without brightening its darker corners. These are stories of a sick world, of a near-unconscionable, unintelligible world, but they’re also easy to fall into. There’s enough gallows humour to make even the strangest, most discomfiting situations worth rereading a couple of times. Doyle might be staring into the void, but he’s finding something worth laughing at in there. – Irish Times

 

Doyle’s fiction deals with life’s major themes: sex, death, guilt, shame, the meaning of existence. A collection so palpably saturated in the fervour of brooding iconoclasm… Doyle’s storytelling is compelling and engaging, suffused with wit, honesty and emotional intelligence. – Irish Times

 

Sets up a metafictional diving board and leaps from it with misanthropic glee… Magnetically effective. – Guardian

 

“A tremendous talent. Every page fizzes with vitality” –  Kevin Barry, author of Beatlebone

 

“The mutinous fragments of Rob Doyle’s fictions are bilious, provocative and unnervingly compelling” –  Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins

 

“God may be dead, but a new literary star is born” –  Sunday Times

 

“A series of fragmented pieces hovering between fiction and non-fiction” –  Guardian

 

“For sheer bravery and for style, for its integrity of vision and for its uncompromising tone” –  Colm Toibin, Irish Times Book of the Year

 

“The language is unflinching, the story uncompromising … A powerful and provocative novel and easily the most honest account of young Irish people for many years” –  Guardian

 

“A powerful, passionate and electrifying novel. Many writers try to recreate the traumas and anxieties of teenage years in fiction but very few manage it with as much conviction as Rob Doyle” –  John Boyne

 

“A lament for the blank generation … a powerful debut, maybe the first novel since Kevin Power’s Bad Day in Blackrock to interrogate the dark side of the young Irish male’s psyche” –  Irish Times