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The Rules of Revelation Reviews

The Rules of Revelation by Lisa McInerney

The Rules of Revelation

Lisa McInerney

3.50 out of 5

5 reviews

Imprint: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication date: 13 May 2021
ISBN: 9781473668904

The third novel from the author of the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies

  • The GuardianBook of the Week
4 stars out of 5
Sarah Ditum
14 May 2021

"brings the saga of Ryan to a satisfying completion"

McInerney’s world is a compellingly sleazy demi-monde of drug dealers, sex workers and property developers, and she has a pleasing disdain for minimalism: here you’ll find big characters and lots of them, having big emotions and going through so much incident that keeping on top of the plot can leave you with the enjoyably dazed feeling of trying to follow a close-up magic trick... Where previous entries in the trilogy have sometimes had a feeling of almost too much happening, Revelation exercises just enough restraint to avoid being overwhelming, and in doing so brings the saga of Ryan to a satisfying completion. “It was simultaneously the end of the world and the best time to be Irish,” writes McInerney. “Was it not all they could do to tell the story of it?”


3 stars out of 5
Alex Preston
23 May 2021

"There is no doubt that McInerney is a writer of great gifts and boundless ambition"

While my second attempt at The Rules of Revelation was at least undertaken with sufficient information to understand what the hell was going on, the book still didn’t catch fire for me. It is as if McInerney has become weighed down by the success of that first novel, so that she is constantly straining to break out of the particularity of her characters’ lives to comment on the general state of Ireland, or Brexit, to speak with the voice of her generation. There is no doubt that McInerney is a writer of great gifts and boundless ambition but her publisher has done her no favours in suggesting that readers launch into her story world in media res. It will be fascinating to see what she does now that her trilogy has been brought to its conclusion.

3 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
21 May 2021

"Old hurts and grievances are aired in Lisa McInerney's engaging third novel"

McInerney’s writing has been compared to Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett, and it’s easy to see why: the violence and verve and ingenuity with language. Other contemporary touchstones include Elaine Feeney’s captivating debut, As You Were, and the bright, fizzing prose in the novels of Caoilinn Hughes.

4 stars out of 5
15 May 2021

"McInerney does not disappoint"

It’s true that ‘New Irish’ writing has become a distinct sector of a literary market, controlled overwhelmingly from London, with authors such as Megan Nolan, Naoise Dolan, Eimear McBride and Sally Rooney being grouped together. To be New Irish is to address Ireland post-crash, and the results are often scathing, intelligent treatments of class. McInerney does not disappoint but, unlike her peers, she meets this taxonomising impulse head-on, and the result is a state-of-the-city, rather than nation, novel, sardonic, sexy, witty, lanky with a winsome smirk, which breaks into a long-stride run for the pure pleasure of it — and it is a pleasure to observe.

3 stars out of 5
Claire Allfree
1 May 2021

"McInerney is a richly savage writer and an incisive chronicler of her home country"

Rather, the tensions are psychological: Cusack’s unresolved hatred for his father, Tony, “whiskey-sick and evil mouthed”; the misplaced shame induced by the sexual abuse incident; the psychodrama with Karine that goes on and on . . . But in truth? McInerney is so busy giving us reasons to care that she paradoxically produces the opposite effect. McInerney is a richly savage writer and an incisive chronicler of her home country, but like her characters, it’s time to move on.