Cover of Here Are The Young Men by Rob Doyle
Here Are The Young Men
Rob Doyle
Finished: July 6, 2014

Usually, when I’m writing a review of a book or a film, I try to be a bit lenient and say “well, this person wrote a book and I haven’t, so they’re clearly doing something better than me!” Except I can’t feel this way about this book. I’d be ashamed to put my name to this thing.

The story is about a bunch of one-dimensional stand-ins for various aspects of teenage lives. There’s the clever, bookish one. There’s the violent misanthrope. There’s the boring generic one. And they all go around Dublin, doing drugs and being surly. The few female characters are just as one-dimensional as the male characters - they’re there to have sex with and to make the boys feel bad.

The entire book is dreadfully dull and badly written. And then suddenly, it takes a last-act swing into American Psycho territory. Like the author read over his manuscript up until that point and said “fuuuuuuck, nothing actually happens in this book!” and tried to make up for it with a completely unbelievable ‘shock’ conclusion.

This book was all over the Irish/Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago, and having now finished it, I’m feeling a definite case of the emperor’s new clothes here. God-awful. Avoid.