Review: The Oh My God Delusion by Ross O’Carroll Kelly

by Alannah McMahon

Author: Paul Howard

Publisher: Penguin Books

Released: 7 October

Rating: 3/4

Vain, lacking foresight and ruined with delusions of grandeur; the Government weren’t the only ones this year to lose everything.

The Ross O’Carroll Kelly series has become somewhat of a social phenomenon in recent years. Paul Howard has been praised with creating the perfect satire of everything that was wrong with the Celtic Tiger, and his latest work The Oh My God Delusion is no exception. 

The Oh My God Delusion comes at a perfect time in Irish economics. As our banks have fallen deeper into debt and our Government gains financial assistance from the European Union, Howard releases a novel that can serve as a reminder as to what got us into this position in the first place and the idiocy that requires.

The book tells the tale of the painfully deluded Ross’s fall from grace as he and his family lose their fortune, and egos, to the collapse of the Irish economy. We watch as our annoying little protagonist copes with losing everything that’s ever meant something to him, and his surprising reaction to it all.

Howard has succeeded in creating a character that is equally irritating as he is endearing, and his development through this novel sees a new element of Ross’s personality. For the first time in the series Ross begins to feel compassion for those around him. It would seem that only in losing everything has the character learnt the most basic of human emotions; that of empathy and concern.

However, despite these developments the novel reads a little stale. It feels as though he has released the same book nine times and the story hasn’t really gone very far at all. It remains sublime as a social satire, yet as a novel it seriously lacks the imagination and creativity it so sorely needs to remain the phenomenon it has become.

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