Lord of the RamsLord of the Rams

Lord of the Rams: Media Coverage - January 2009

Aiden O'Reilly

This review of Lord of the Rams originally appeared in January 2009 on The Stoneybatter Files website.

Ronan Smith relates the mishaps and adventures of growing up in Munterconnaught - a place that I presumed was fictional because the name sounded so ridiculous and I couldn't find it on any map. A Cavan man informed me however it is very real. You couldn't doubt the reality of the events depicted in this saga either. It's all related in the third person, a mock-heroic account of the minutiae of play-school, school, and first shaky steps in a nightclub. I gave the loan of the book to the same Cavan man, and it was the third book he ever read in his life. I don't have a copy to give a taste of the style, but I recall well the tales of teachers driven to distraction, an attack on the school bus, the dog that ate shite, the first time getting drunk. It's a cross between St. Augustine and the garrulous man-at-the-bar. You will instantly recognise the tone, you've heard it somewhere.

The book is an antidote to all those biographies of ex-Big Brother stars who are puffed up with confidence that every detail of their lives is fascinating. Well, The Rams is not puffed-up: he knows that every detail is fascinating and the reader - if in the right mood - will agree. It's a good book to dip into. You'll find yourself reading parts aloud for anyone in hearing distance.

"Gods make their own importance," wrote Patrick Kavanagh, who lived not a million miles from Cavan. But Ronan Smith is more modest. He makes no claim to be a god, just a lord ... The Lord of the Rams.

Aiden O'Reilly is a Dublin-based writer. His website, The Stoneybatter Files (www.aidenoreilly.com), features a number of his published short stories.

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