The Brothers' Lot

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Akashic Books, Mar 22, 2011 - Fiction - 320 pages
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"Holohan's ability to write the kind of free-flowing naturalistic dialogue that so potently conveys the anarchic spirit of schoolboy warfare . . . is grounded by a shadow play of macabre references to horrors that ghost around the edges of the narrative, many eerily similar to some of the more infamous real life reports that have emerged in recent years."
--The Irish Times

Combining the spirit of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim with a bawdy evisceration of hypocrisy in old-school Catholic education, The Brothers' Lot is a comic satire that tells the story of the Brothers of Godly Coercion School for Young Boys of Meager Means, a dilapidated Dickensian institution run by an assemblage of eccentric, insane, and often nasty celibate Brothers. The school is in decline and the Brothers hunger for a miracle to move their founder, the Venerable Saorseach O'Rahilly, along the path to Sainthood.

When a possible miracle presents itself, the Brothers fervently seize on it with the help of the ethically pliant Diocesan Investigator, himself hungry for a miracle to boost his career. The school simultaneously comes under threat from strange outside forces. The harder the Brothers try to defend the school, the worse things seem to get. It takes an outsider, Finbar Sullivan, a young student newly arrived at the school, to see that the source of the threat may in fact lie inside the school itself. As the miracle unravels, the Brothers' efforts to preserve it unleash a disastrous chain of events.

Tackling a serious subject from the oblique viewpoint of satire, The Brothers' Lot explores the culture that allowed abuses within church-run institutions in Ireland to go unchecked for decades.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jasonpettus - LibraryThing

(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally ... Read full review

The Brothers' Lot

User Review  - Jim Dwyer - Book Verdict

What is the lot of the Brothers of Godly Coercion for Young Boys of Meager Means, fraught as they are by celibacy, repression, and guilt? Sadism, masochism, child abuse, more guilt, self-flagellation ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Kevin Holohan was born in Dublin. He is a graduate of University College Dublin and a veteran of a high school education at the hands of the Christian Brothers in Dublin. His short stories have been published in Cyphers, the Sunday Tribune (Dublin), and, most recently, in Whispers and Shouts. His poetry has been published in Studies, Casablanca, Envoi, and Poetry Ireland. He has reviewed fiction for the Irish Echo in New York. For two years he was reader for the literary department of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. The Brothers' Lot is his first novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.


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