'Doyle is as good as everyone - from John Boyne to Colm Toibin - says he is' Daily Mail A young man in a dark depression roams the vast, formless landscape of a Dublin industrial park where he meets a vagrant in the grip of a dangerous ideology. A woman fleeing a break-up finds herself taking part in an unusual sleep experiment. A man obsessed with Nietzsche clings desperately to his girlfriend's red shoes. And whatever happened to Killian Turner, Ireland's vanished literary outlaw? Lost and isolated, the characters in these masterful stories play out their fragmented relationships in a series of European cities, always on the move; from rented room to darkened apartment, hitchhiker's roadside to Barcelona nightclub. Rob Doyle, a shape-shifting drifter, a reclusive writer, also stalks the book's pages. Layering narratives and splicing fiction with non-fiction, This is the Ritual tells of the ecstatic, the desperate and the uncertain. Immersive, at times dreamlike, and frank in its depiction of sex, the writer's life, failed ideals and the transience of emotions, it introduces an unmistakable new literary voice.
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Rob Doyle was born in Dublin and holds a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and an MPhil in Psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. Rob Doyle's widely acclaimed first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was published in 2014 by Bloomsbury and the Lilliput Press. It was chosen as a book of the year by the Irish Times, Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post, and was shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category for the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards. It was also named as one Ireland's twenty greatest novels since 1916 by Hot Press magazine. Rob's fiction, essays and criticism have been published in many newspapers and journals. He currently lives in Paris. robdoyle.net @RobDoyle1Review:
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 * A world-class writer * Joanna Walsh, author of Vertigo * Doyle's fiction deals with life's major themes: sex, death, guilt, shame, the meaning of existence ... Doyle's storytelling is compelling and engaging, suffused with wit, honesty and emotional intelligence * Irish Times * Full of booze, books, sex and despair yet, despite the bleakness of its stories, skewered as they are on broken hearts and broken artistic dreams, Doyle's cocky passion proves irresistible. He writes with the confidence of a literary giant ... A series of heartening and humane interior struggles. Doyle is as good as everyone - from John Boyne to Colm Toibin - says he is * Daily Mail * One of the most exciting emerging voices in Irish literature * Irish Independent * Doyle displays a ludic sensibility ... The stories are gleefully nihilistic ... He has a gift for evoking the base and unpleasant aspects of life in vivid and visceral detail ... It creates an almost hypnotic effect; a miasmic fictional space into which the reader slips * Times Literary Supplement * 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 * Bleak, brilliant stories ... Don't be put off by literary allusions. These compelling vignettes stand up for themselves ... They transport us beyond the routines of our daily round, and are visceral, scatological and frequently disturbing ... It's refreshing to see a young Irish writer keeping up the cloacal tradition introduced by Swift and continued by Joyce * Sunday Times * Bold ... He sets up a metafictional diving board and leaps from it with misanthropic glee ... An authentically manic energy * Guardian * Ireland is producing some of Europe's finest short-story writers. Latest to shine alongside live wires Kevin Barry, Colin Barrett and Claire Keegan is Rob Doyle with a collection of hilarious, sharp-tongued page-turners ... A bright, poetic, erudite new voice. I loved this * Big Issue * Doyle's characters, and the author himself, tramp and trip over people and places in this fragmented odyssey * RTE Guide, `The best novels of the coming year' * Rob Doyle pulls no punches with his uncompromising style * Herald *
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