Lord of the RamsLord of the Rams

Lord of the Rams: Media Coverage - May 2009

The Bookbag

This review of Lord of the Rams originally appeared in May 2009 on The BookBag website.

When you read Lord of the Rams you could be forgiven for thinking that you're hearing about someone with a split personality. Our author, Ronan Smith, is a true gentleman and a real delight when you're exchanging pleasantries. He's good to his mother and not just because he doesn't get home that often. Then we have the subject of his autobiography ¨C Rambo, Lord of the Rams or, more usually, simply the Rams. You'll find it unnerving that the author speaks of his other self in the third person - and that's before we get to the strange nicknames which people acquire, the fact that there's nothing which can't be made into a joke and the drinkingĄ­

The drinking ¨C well, I'd like to describe it as to excess but somehow that doesn't quite do the quantities the justice they deserve. It doesn't really reflect (and whilst our author might reflect, the Rams is not really that way inclinedĄ­) what happens before, during and after these excesses. This is international standard drinking and a level of laddishness which isn't far behind.

Talking of behinds, as we so nearly were, there are the farts. Perfected in his childhood in Munterconnaught in County Cavan they were to be wielded as weapons of mass destruction through school and into college in Waterford and Dublin. There is no situation so serious that it cannot be alleviated by a joke and a fart, preferably your own, or at a pinch, a friend's. Should the fart fail (and given the quantities of alcohol there's no reason why they should) there's the vomit (where you would least expect it) and the shite (likewise).

It's not a book for the faint of heart or stomach but for anyone who has ever been a lad (of either sex), known one or feared that they might be about to turn into one this book will be hilarious. Punches are not pulled (even when it's a door that's in the way) and the author's acuity of observation and sharpness of memory in circumstances which would defeat most of us means that you will be in no doubt as to which side of the mop and bucket you stand.

A quarter of a century passes in the flick of a barmaid's apron. The schoolboy and his friends become men, but there's no way that they've grown up. My only hope is that medical intervention will not be required before we get the next instalment of the story.

People of a prudish disposition can be reassured that there is no sex in the book ¨C in fact females generally have the briefest of walk-on parts until we get to talk about the thongs, but you'll have to read the book for yourself to find out about that little incident.

3 1/2 Stars

Article by Sue Magee

Read the review on The Bookbag.

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