The Lie of the Land

The Lie of the Land:Irish Identities

  • Paperback

This collection of essays is drawn from Fintan O'Toole's writings over two decades. Its portraits of people - talk-show hosts, priests, children, pop stars - and its reports of social and political upheaval, reveal a country still in search of itself, but more at ease with its complexities.

The Lie of the Land is a highly engaging study of Ireland’s fractured and shifting identities by one of its most talented writers. From its sometimes confused sense of place, caught somewhere between Europe and America, Ireland has redefined itself in the 1990s. Fintan O’Toole highlights the contradictions and the mythologies at work in Ireland’s ever-changing idea of itself.


  • Scintillatingly intelligent journalism ... Fintan O'Toole is one of Ireland's most talented journalists.

  • O'Toole's weapons are laconic wit, a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous or anomalous and a spare, beautiful style. The concentrated energy of these essays, the richness of reference, their mordant humour can only be indicated in quotations: they demand to be read and re-read.

    ROY FOSTEREuropean
  • [O'Toole] argues his case with much insight, wry humour and a touch of the blarney

    Publisher's Weekly