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Kevin Myers - From the Irish Times column 'An Irishman’s Diary'
Published by Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2000

Readers of the Irish Times will be well acquainted with Kevin Myers’ column in the 'An Irishman’s Diary'. Kevin Myers is the Irish equivalent of the soap-box orators at Hyde Park corner – he has passionately held opinions on any subject you care to name. His column rouses outrage and admiration in equal measure amongst his readers.

This book is a selection of articles from 'An Irishman’s Diary' written during the 1990s. He covers a range of issues – the political issues of the day, sport, history, religion, and people – in his own unique style. He pulls no punches in his criticism of the foibles and pretensions of modern Irish society. He arouses the ire of many of his readers in his debunking of shibboleths and sacred cows. The same columns are read and praised by an equal number of readers who agree with some of his stand points.

The greatest strength of Kevin Myers' column is his mastery of the English Language. His prose is polished and honed to exactitude – there is no ambiguity about his opinions, or how they are expressed. He writes farce with a pen dipped in vitriol, but he is equally capable of writing thoughtful, serious pieces which address complex issues with intelligent insight.

This book gives a surrealistic keyhole view of what was happening in and to Ireland during the ‘90s. It is a book to be dipped into and savoured like a box of bitter, dark chocolates – you don’t know what the centre holds, but it will be worth finding out.

Reviewed by Marie, a Clare County Library staff member